CanCollar: A Beverage Container's New Best Friend
Introducing a better designed and sustainable packaging solution for beverages
For craft beverage companies, placing emphasis on sustainable packaging makes good business sense. Consumers expect more than great beer or cider and demand a holistic approach to caring for the environment.
When these breweries expand beyond producing draft beverages and move into multipacks, their interest in making eco-friendly packaging decisions begins to peak and they frequently look to WestRock for answers. One of these up and coming breweries – The Veil Brewing Company – in Richmond, Virginia, was using plastic, four-pack clips to multipack their cans of beer. They asked us “Are there paper-based multi-pack solutions that are more environmentally friendly?”
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Consumers expect more than great beer or cider, they demand a holistic approach to caring for the environment.
That’s when the challenge was presented to the beverage design team who brainstormed, designed and tested the CanCollar concept. The challenges included:
- Would a paper alternative hold up in harsh, moist conditions in the brewery?
- Would the CanCollars hold cans without having them fall out?
- Can you recycle CanCollars?
After several rounds of testing with The Veil Brewing, WestRock launched CanCollars in the market in late 2017. CanCollars are made from WestRock’s CarrierKote® paperboard and hold the cans tightly by the rims.
The CanCollars are less expensive than plastic clips.
Their thin profile, allow for four times the volume as plastic clips on a pallet which further reduces the brewery’s freight costs and storage challenges.
The innovation is backed by rigorous testing to ensure the CanCollars would be durable enough for the supply chain and even lead to the development of a semi-automated means of applying the CanCollars.
WestRock invented a device called the the Chunk was designed that applies a full case of CanCollars in either 4-pack carrier or 6-pack carrier configurations with one simple motion.
We recently heard from customers looking to further eliminate plastic from their operations: they wanted an alternative to shrink wrap for containing a case of loose cans in a tray. From this identified need, a new variant called CaseCollars was developed which provides a recyclable, paper-based plastic wrap alternative for a case of beer.
The innovative packaging in this example was borne out of listening to our customers and responding to their needs for viable paper-based alternatives as they seek to reduce plastic packaging.