The innovation is now in place on UK cans of Foster's, Kronenbourg and Heineken, with the rest of Heineken's portfolio set to follow in 2021
Heineken is rolling out new cardboard packaging for its UK beer can multipacks in a bid to eliminate plastic from thousands of cans of lager ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend, the brewing giant announced yesterday.
The plastic-free compostable cardboard topper is already in use for multipacks of Foster's and Kronenbourg, and from this week takes up position on packs of Heineken, the firm said. The rest of the beverage manufacturer's beer and cider portfolio is set to follow suit in 2021.
In addition, Heineken said it was ditching the use of plastic shrink wrapping for consumer packs.
Altogether, these efforts are set to remove more than 517 tonnes of plastic annually, equivalent to 94 million plastic bags, the firm estimates.
"After announcing our intention in November last year, we're extremely pleased to launch Green Grip - our plastic free, recyclable and compostable topper in UK supermarkets this summer, especially during such a challenging time," said Michael Gillane, marketing director at Heineken UK. "This is a game changer - for so long, the plastic pack rings on cans of beer and cider have been rightly scrutinised. We have been working on a solution for a number of years - one that is durable, totally recyclable and completely plastic free. And importantly, one that can be used at scale on hundreds of millions of cans every year."
Heineken first announced the switch last year, as part of its 'Brewing a Better World' sustainability strategy, which has seen the firm introduce refillable kegs of draught beer and cider, slash CO2 emissions through investments in new technology, and trial deposit return schemes at festivals.
However, the initial planned launch date for the new technology has been delayed by Covid-19, the firm explained.
"Introducing a brand new technology is challenging at the best of times, but doing so at a time of social distancing measures and when we've adapted our operations to meet heightened supermarket demand is a testament to the adaptability and determination of our brewery and project teams," said Matt Callan, brewing and operations director at Heineken. "We continue to look at further options to eliminate single-use plastic, including in our logistics and distribution network as we remain committed to eliminating unnecessary plastic in our total supply chain."
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