Heineken rolls out ‘game-changing’ eco four-pack topper
Brewery giant Heineken UK is abandoning plastic packaging across its Fosters, Heineken and Kronenbourg 1664 beer brands with the roll out of a new eco-friendly cardboard topper for its four-packs.
The new recyclable and compostable topper, which has been dubbed ‘green grip’, forms an important part of the company’s commitment to remove all plastic from UK retail by the end of next year across all of its beer and cider brands.
The move, along with the elimination of shrink-wrapping on consumer packs, is set to remove 516 tonnes of plastic from supermarket shelves, it said – the equivalent of 94m plastic bags.
Heineken UK’s marketing director Michael Gillane described the new toppers as a “game changer” and the result of several years of development.
“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 several years – one that is durable, totally recyclable, and completely plastic free. Importantly, this is an innovation that can be used at scale on hundreds of millions of cans every year.”
The logistics of roll-out were nearly scuppered by the global lockdown, and Gillane said it would have been easier to postpone the launch because of the difficulties caused by Covid-19, but the use of innovative technology allowed Italian engineers to collaborate with the team at the company’s Manchester brewery to install the new machinery and conduct training to use it, meaning Heineken UK could stay on track to eliminate single-use plastic on its products.
“This is a significant milestone in our journey, and we look forward to rolling the innovation out across the rest of our beer and cider portfolio in 2021,” he said.
It comes as UK retailers Waitrose and Morrisons announce their intention to ditch plastic ‘bags for life’.