DENMARK – The Danish brewer Carlsberg has unveiled innovative solutions to reduce plastic waste including the launch of ‘Snap Pack’, which it says will reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes (an equivalent of 60 million plastic bags) a year.

Carlsberg becomes the first in the beer industry to eliminate pack rings, plastic wrapping used around its cans and will be replaced with recyclable glue.

Plastic pack rings known in the industry as hi-cones or yokes, are connected plastic rings used to hold together multi-packs of canned drinks, particularly beers, and in the recent past have raised concerns on their contribution to oceanic pollution.

The glue can hold can hold cans in four, or six or eight-can packs and can be recycled along with the aluminium can.

The company plans to roll out the packs in some Tesco branches in the UK first involving Carlsberg Export and also its entire drinks portfolio, including Tuborg and San Miguel, followed by Norway.

“It’s an important day for Carlsberg, we are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and to help tackle climate change,” said Cees ’t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group.

“We always strive to improve and today’s launch clearly shows our ambition to follow in our founder’s footsteps towards a better tomorrow.

Carlsberg’s Snap Pack will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste, and we look forward to giving our consumers better beer experiences with less environmental impact.”

Sustainability ambitions

Snap Pack is one of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging solutions and part of the group’s sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO which includes ambitions of a ZERO carbon footprint and ZERO water waste.

The company said it is switching to Cradle-to-Cradle Certified silver inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability in addition to developing new caps which remove oxygen to make the beer taste fresher for longer.

Other innovations include a new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan and therefore their environmental footprint.

Carlsberg has also formed a strategic partnership with Plastic Change, a Danish environmental organisation with an aim to check their impact on the environment and natural resources.