Carlsberg launches new sustainable packaging design in UK

The Carlsberg Group has launched its new sustainable packaging solution, ‘Snap Pack’, in the UK, which aims to reduce plastic packaging usage by 76 per cent.

After working with NMP Systems, a subsidiary of the KHS packaging group, the Danish brewery group launched the new form of packaging in the UK on 3 September, which sees Carlsberg’s beverage cans adorned with adhesive dots that temporarily glue the cans together instead of using shrink-wrapping, plastic rings or hi-cone. The packaging is expected to be introduced in selected European countries in September, with Denmark, Carlsberg’s home country, not likely to see it until early 2019.

With the new style of packaging, the Carlsberg Group hopes to save up to 76 per cent on the plastics used in traditional multi-packs, which equates to around 1,200 tonnes per year – or rather, 60 million plastic bags.

The Snap Pack also combines sustainability with customer accessibility and brand recognition, as individual cans can be easily separated with just one motion, while the orientation of the cans when stuck together with the adhesive glue means that consumers can easily identify the product, as it spells Carlsberg in large writing across three cans.

Alongside the adhesive glue holding the cans together, Carlsberg also intends to bring some other improvements to its packaging. These include:

  • Changing to Cradle-to-Cradle-certified silver inks on bottle labels, which will improve their recyclability;
  • A new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan and reduce their carbon footprint; and
  • New caps that remove oxygen from within the bottles to make make the beer taste ‘fresher for longer’, improving its shelf life.

To further emphasise the amount of plastic Carlsberg will save each year with Snap Pack, it recently unveiled its own version of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue made of the newly developed cans. Held together with the same adhesive as the cans, it stands three metres tall and is made up of 137 kilogrammes of plastic – representative of the amount of plastic Carlsberg will now be saving every hour.

This packaging initiative is part of Carlsberg’s new sustainability programme, ‘Together Towards ZERO’, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and avoid waste. The brewery company hopes to achieve its aims by 2030.

Commenting on the launch, Cees’t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group said: “Over the past three years, we have embarked on a research and development journey to bring the Snap Pack onto the market. This will enable us to significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated worldwide. Last but not least, this is advancement for a better future.”

This move towards sustainability has long been brewing within the Carlsberg group. In 2013, Carlsberg joined the Every Can Counts recycling scheme, whilst in 2015, it received the first certificate from Cradle-to-Cradle in 2015 designated to a brewery company, recognising that its products are designed with material health and renewable energy taken into consideration.

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