Heineken swaps plastic rings for cardboard topper on multi-pack cans

Heineken UK is removing plastic rings and shrink wrapping from its beer and cider multi-pack cans as part of a £22 million investment.

The move will see the brewer remove 517 tonnes of plastic annually from the supply chain.

In place of the plastic rings, Heineken is switching to a topper made from sustainably-sourced cardboard. According to the brewer, this new topper is 100% recyclable and compostable and is robust and easy to grip.

The new topper will be rolled out across Heineken, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664 multi-pack cans and made available in UK retailers from April 2020.

This will be followed by all Heineken brands in multi-pack cans – including Strongbow, Bulmer’s and John Smith’s – by the end of 2021.

The £22 million investment will be split between the brewer’s Manchester, Tadcaster and Hereford sites, with the technology piloted at the Manchester brewery before the end of the year.

“Now, after years in development and huge investment, we’re extremely pleased to announce our recyclable and compostable topper innovation, a significant milestone in our journey to eliminate all single-use plastic,” said Cindy Tervoort, UK Marketing Director, Heineken.