EUROPE – Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced the introduction of CanCollar, a new paperboard packaging solution for its multipack cans.
The certified recyclable paperboard-based rings will first launch in the Balearic Islands in November 2020, marking Spain as the first European country to roll out the solution.
Through collaboration with US corrugated packaging company WestRock, CCEP will replace its current Hi-cone solution with CanCollar.
“The agreement with WestRock exemplifies our clear commitment to reduce plastic in our secondary packaging,” said Joe Franses, vice president of sustainability at CCEP.
“By the end of 2020, we will have removed more than 4,000 tonnes of hard to recycle plastic from our secondary packaging in Western Europe. It’s through collaborating on innovative packaging solutions like CanCollar that we are able to do this,” he added.
The shift forms part of CCEP’s efforts to remove all “unnecessary or hard to recycle plastic” from its portfolio with claims that it will save more than 18 tonnes of plastic annually.
The switch to sustainably sourced paperboard will avoid the use of more than 11,000 tonnes of virgin plastic a year across Western Europe, according to CCEP.
To support this initiative, CCEP has invested €2.6 million (US$3m) in its Barcelona plant to include the installation of WestRock’s CanCollar Fortuna manufacturing equipment.
The launch comes nearly a year after the firm announced that it was replacing plastic shrink wrap with sustainably sourced cardboard in its can multipacks.
“We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Coca-Cola. For 70 years we have supported Coca-Cola in bringing innovation to global beverage markets. CanCollar is the latest initiative supporting Coca-Cola’s vision to create a world without waste,” Dwayne Irvin, vice president of enterprise solutions at WestRock, said.
In response to intensified regulatory and consumer demand for more environmentally sustainable packaging in Europe, beverage producers are increasingly exploring alternatives to conventional plastic rings and shrink wrap.
In July, the European Council approved the implementation of a plastic tax starting January 1, 2021, as part of its latest agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027) and coronavirus recovery fund.
The plan foresees a €0.80/kg levy on non-recycled plastic packaging waste, which will be paid by Member States into the EU budget.
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