Coca-Cola will replace plastic film with cardboard

The plastic pollution crisis is one of the biggest problems facing our world today, along with the climate crisis. Plastic waste is now everywhere, even in the uninhabited Arctic in the form of microplastic. Meanwhile, research has shown that every week we consume about one microplastic credit card from our food and water supply contaminated with microscopic plastic particles.

In a call to action, Coca-Cola is launching new cardboard technology that will replace all plastic packaging in European markets – and phase it out completely by the end of 2021. The company has received a lot of attention in recent times to be the world’s leading plastic polluter. Of all the waste found in the world, the products are those of Coca-Cola.

In 2016, an estimate 320 million tonnes of plastic have been produced all over the world. By 2034, that number is expected to double. In addition, around 8 million pieces of plastic pollution end up in the oceans every day! It turned out that many of them were Coca-Cola products. That’s why they came up with an innovative and effective solution to reduce the amount of plastic they produce.

Cardboard technology, called KeelClip, will replace all plastic packaging in multi-can packaging. This is a first for the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) industry. Innovation is a development resulting from an ambition shared between Coca ‑ Cola and its main bottling partners, Coca ‑ Cola European Partners and Coca ‑ Cola HBC.

The company’s goal is to eliminate plastic packaging in all European Union markets by using KeelClips for its multipacks. The transition goes save 2000 tons of plastic and 3,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Credit: Coca-Cola

Marcel Martin, Group Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola HBC said:

KeelClip ™ is our latest investment in innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. Along with the four brands of water that we introduced this year in 100% recycled PET bottles, the increased use of recycled PET and the continued lightening of the entire portfolio, KeelClip ™ is another demonstration of our commitment. to achieve our waste-free world goals.

Joe Franses, Vice President of Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners, said:

Innovation is a key tenet of our sustainable packaging work and the application of this fully recyclable KeelClip ™ cardboard, which features a top panel that the cans clip into and a central cardboard ‘keel’ – similar to a ship keel – which stabilizes packaging, is another example of how we are delivering on our commitment to eliminate all unnecessary and hard-to-recycle single-use plastics from our products.

Steve Gould, Director of New Product Development and Marketing for Graphic Packaging International, Beverages Division, Europe, said:

KeelClip ™ technology is effective for multipacks of cans of different diameters and heights. This means that we can provide safe and efficient packaging without the need for secondary plastic. When companies like Coca-Cola HBC and Coca-Cola European Partners invest in these technologies, we can really make a difference in the way we pack goods and cause the industry to continue to change too.

Hopefully more businesses will follow suit with their own green initiatives like this! There has to be more of this kind of conscious approach to tackling plastic pollution or we’ll all be in big trouble.

Bryce K. Locke