Heineken calls time on plastic packaging

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Heineken UK, one of the nation’s most popular beer and cider brands, said it’s designed a 100% plastic-free cardboard topper that will eliminate plastic from supermarket shelves by the end of 2021.

The drinks maker said it has been working to tackle social and environmental issues for over a decade, setting ambitious targets that challenge the brand to innovate sustainably. 

£22m project

Part of a £22 million investment, the new packaging was designed to not only remove plastic but to 

minimise use of materials and reduce waste. 

The topper, made from sustainability sourced cardboard, is 100% recyclable and compostable. Importantly for our beer and cider drinkers the structure is robust yet easy to grip when on the move.

This innovation will replace plastic rings on Heineken, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664 by April 2020, followed by all HEINEKEN brands in multi-pack cans – including Strongbow, Bulmer’s and John Smith’s. 

Huge plastic saving

By rolling out across the entire beer and cider portfolio, the combination of the new topper and the removal of shrink wrapping will eliminate over 517 tonnes of plastic annually – that’s more than 94 million plastic bags a year.

“The effect single-use plastic is having on our planet can’t be ignored”, Cindy Tervoort, Marketing Director, HEINEKEN UK, said. 

“Creating an eco-friendly solution that eliminates plastic while still meeting consumer demand has never been more important in our business. 

“After three years in development, we’re extremely pleased to announce our recyclable and compostable topper innovation, a significant milestone in our journey to eliminate all single-use plastic.”

This scalable one-of-a-kind innovation will start to rollout in UK retailers from April 2020, with the investment being split between Heineken UK’s Manchester, Tadcaster and Hereford brewery sites. 

The technology will be piloted at the Manchester brewery before the end of the year.

Digital City Festival 2020

Digital City Festival has launched

Five days of events showcasing the best of digital in the North