Heineken UK Rolls Out 'Green Grip' Cardboard Topper for Multi-pack Cans
According to Heineken UK, the combination of the new topper, dubbed 'Green Grip', and the removal of shrink wrapping on consumer packs will eliminate over 517 tonnes of plastic annually.
Aug. 17, 2020 - This summer, despite major operational obstructions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HEINEKEN UK rolls out its innovative 100% plastic-free cardboard topper across thousands of UK retailers. The topper will feature on Heineken®, Foster's and Kronenbourg 1664 multi-pack cans before rolling out across its entire beer and cider portfolio. The company's commitment to innovate sustainably during this unprecedented time has kept the business on track to eliminating this type of plastic from supermarket shelves by the end of 2021.
The new packaging not only removes plastic but minimises the use of materials and reduces waste. The combination of the new topper, dubbed 'Green Grip', and the removal of shrink wrapping on consumer packs will eliminate over 517 tonnes of plastic annually.
With the installation of the new packaging machinery set to take place at the same time as travel restrictions were implemented across Europe, HEINEKEN UK overcame a significant logistical hurdle by using virtual technology to partly help install the machinery at its brewery in Manchester. The team in Manchester used smart glasses to collaborate with Italian engineers on the installation process and receive virtual training on how to operate the machinery safely, allowing fewer people on the shop floor to support social distancing guidelines.
Michael Gillane, marketing director, HEINEKEN UK, said, "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 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.
"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," Gillane added.
James Bull, Head of Packaging at Tesco (a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer) said, "We have plans to remove all non-recyclable and excess packaging from our business and are working with a number of brands to achieve this. It's great to see HEINEKEN UK eliminate plastic from its cans of beer — our customers want to use less plastic, so I'm sure they'll appreciate this change."
This scalable bespoke innovation was piloted at HEINEKEN UK's Manchester brewery, with its Tadcaster and Hereford sites to follow in March 2021.
SOURCE: HEINEKEN UK