Carlsberg to replace plastic ring holders with eco-friendly glue

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Beer company Carlsberg has come up with a sticky solution to the environmental damage caused by six-pack rings and wrapping.

In what it is heralding as a world-first, the Danish brewer's new multi-pack beer cans are held together solely by glue - a move that is set to reduce its use of plastic to package the product by more than 75%.

After a three-year development process, which involved testing more than 4,000 different adhesive formulations, the company insists the dots of glue bonding its new "Snap Packs" are strong enough to withstand the journey from shelf to home, yet sufficiently brittle to break when twisted.

British beer fans will be the first to test this pledge as Carlsberg has chosen the UK market, which consumes 30% of its beer annually, to debut the eco-friendly packaging innovation.

At an official launch event in Copenhagen, inventor Christopher Stuhlmann revealed how a trip to his local DIY store helped convince him that his brainwave could become a reality.

"The starting point was going to a hardware shop and buying all the adhesive I could get, all the glue that was there," said Mr Stuhlmann, who works for one of Carlsberg's design partners.

"Over the weekend I just glued things together and made a short video for my CEO and so the idea was born."

The technology has the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which has hailed it as a "big step" in efforts to tackle the worsening global scourge of plastic pollution.

The glue technology was one of a series of sustainability innovations launched by the brewer in its headquarters in the Danish capital.

It also showcased beer bottle labels made from recyclable ink; a coating technique to extend the lifespan of its refillable glasses bottles; and new bottle tops that absorb the oxygen trapped in the neck of the bottle, in a development designed to make the product stay fresher longer.

The series of environmental initiatives is part of the company's drive to reduce both its carbon footprint and waste water output to zero in the coming years.