Molson Coors Beverage Company in the UK is removing plastic rings and introducing a fully recyclable and sustainable cardboard sleeve for can multipacks for all major brands, including Carling and Coors.

The move sees Molson Coors’ in the UK hit its target to remove all single-use plastic from Carling and Coors packaging by the end of April 2021, following the introduction of recyclable cardboard large-format multipacks in 2020. Since 2019, the company has removed more than 700 tonnes of single-use plastic from its operations.

Produced by paper-based solutions supplier, Graphic Packaging International, the one-piece cartonboard wrap features a shaped interior design that securely holds the cans, as well as a locking mechanism so that adhesive isn’t required to keep the box closed. This proven paperboard solution will ensure the package meets the needs of today’s supply chains and consumers. Made from renewable wood fibres from certified sources, the wrap contains up to 17% recycled cartonboard, alongside virgin fibre for increased strength, improved machineability and stability in the supply chain.

Fraser Thomson, Western Europe Operations Director at Molson Coors said: “As one of the UK’s largest brewers, we have a responsibility to champion sustainability in the sector and removing single-use plastic from across our operations is one of the ways we are meeting that responsibility as part of Our Imprint 2025 sustainability goals.”

In 2019, Molson Coors joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, and set out a global sustainable packaging strategy, including four clear 2025 goals:

  • Make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Incorporate at least 30% recycled content in plastic packaging
  • Improve recycling infrastructure and support a better recycling system for communities, government and industries
  • Reduce carbon emissions from packaging by 26%.

Steve Gould, new product development and marketing director of the beverage division at Graphic Packaging International, said: “Our 100% recyclable wrap allows us to offer a robust option for brewing and soft drinks companies alike. The package not only offers the sustainability benefits outlined but also offered Molson Coors’ brands further billboarding opportunities to support a brand’s proposition.”

Fraser continued: “By removing unnecessary packaging where possible, while ensuring the contents remain secure throughout the supply chain, this recyclable solution allows us to continue to meet our environmental commitments with a consumer-friendly, fit-for-purpose pack, which places sustainability front of mind.”

Removing plastic rings follows a number of recent steps taken by the company to reduce its environmental impact. In March, the firm began trialling low-carbon, circular-economy glass beer bottles for its Staropramen brand. The trial produced two million bottles, manufactured using biofuel and made entirely from cullet – recycled or waste glass. This method reduces the carbon impact of bottle production by up to 90%. The company also recently announced that it has become the first major brewer in the UK to produce all of its beers and ciders using 100% renewable electricity.

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