Coca Cola and Heineken Swap Plastic Shrink Wrap for Cartonboard

cans shrink wrap

As the sustainability movement gathers even more momentum, we see more global brands converting from plastic to cartonboard packaging. In these examples, we see two packaging items that heretofore users may have believed would not function properly if they were created out of cartonboard

Coca Cola’s Change Multipack Shrink Wrap to Cartonboard

As part of their sustainability action plan for Western Europe, Coca-Cola European Partners will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with cardboard for its can multipacks across Western Europe. This will remove 4,000 metric tons of single-use plastic per year across Western Europe. As shrink wrap is more difficult to recycle than other forms of plastic, it is generally disposed of in landfills.

carton for can multipack

The new cartonboard being used by Coca Cola is “100 per cent recyclable, sustainably sourced cardboard, with either an FSC (forest stewardship council) or PEFC (Program for the endorsement of forest certification) certification.”

The company stated that it had conducted “extensive R&D work to identify the appropriate cardboard packaging format for each multipack size”. 

The fact that Coca Cola had to carry out extensive R&D work prior to changing over to cartonboard comes as no surprise to Dollard Packaging as we are currently helping a number of customers with this process. In order to assist customers with this process, we have written a 12 point guide to Changing from Plastic to Sustainable Carton Packaging which you can read here.

You can read more about Coca Cola’s shrink wrap change here.

Heineken Change Plastic Beer Rings to Cartonboard

Another beverage giant, Heineken, have taken changed elements of their packaging from plastic to cartonboard. 

beer rings cardboard

Starting in April 2020, they are eliminating plastic rings and shrink wrap from all their products and this will be fully rolled out across their entire range by the end of 2021. The new can topper which keeps the multipacks together is made from sustainably sourced cardboard, which Heineken describes as “robust and easy to grip.” The new carrier is 100% recyclable and compostable. The company estimates that 517 metric tons of plastic will be removed from the supply chain as a result of this change.

This changeover has taken them ”years in development and huge investment” and that their new recyclable and compostable topper innovation is a significant milestone in their goals to eliminate all single-use plastic, according to Heineken UK Marketing Director Cindy Tervoort. You can read more about this here. 

If you would like help with a changeover to sustainable cartons or sleeves, please contact us on 01 847 0044 or