Coca-Cola is rolling a new paperboard solution for multipacks of cans as part of its drive to eliminate plastic and use more sustainable packaging in its supply chain. 

Working alongside its bottling partners Coca-Cola HBC and Coca-Cola European Partners, the company stated that the new ‘KeelClip’ solution presents a first for the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink industry. The new type of packaging not only replaces the plastic wrap but also minimizes the amount of paper/card required.

KeelClipAs part of this initiative, Coca-Cola HBC will remove shrink-wrap from all its can multipacks in all EU markets by the end of 2021. It is investing €15m in KeelClip and will begin the roll-out in Ireland and Poland early next year, followed by Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Romania in 2020. The move is expected to save 2,000 tonnes of plastic and 3,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola European Partners will roll-out KeelClip in the Netherlands early next year with more markets to follow. It is investing €14m in its factory in Dongen, Netherlands to install a new can line and KeelClip packaging machine.

Marcel Martin, Group Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola HBC said: “KeelClip is our latest investment in innovative, sustainable packaging solutions. Alongside the four water brands we introduced this year in 100% recycled PET bottles, the increased use of recycled PET and continued lightweighting across the portfolio, KeelClip is another demonstration of our commitment to delivering our World Without Waste goals.”

Joe Franses, Vice President, Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners added: “Innovation is a key principle of our sustainable packaging work and the application of this fully recyclable paperboard KeelClip, which comprises a top board that the cans clip into and a central cardboard ‘keel’ – similar to a ship’s keel – that stabilises the pack, is another example of how we are delivering on our commitment to remove all unnecessary and hard to recycle single-use plastic from our products.”

The KeelClip will be used on all multipacks of up to eight cans, whilst larger multipacks will be bound by a carton pack.