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When Less is More - Even for Beer

by: David Nickelson, Director of Research

The next time you reach for a six-pack of your favorite drink you may notice a different feel to the group of cans. Carlsberg Group, best known for Carlsberg beer, recently made news for a packaging innovation that is lacking in, well...packaging.

In an effort to reduce plastic waste, Carlsberg will replace the plastic wrap previously used around their six-packs with a glue that will adhere the cans to one another. The move is expected to reduce plastic waste by more than 1200 metric tons per year.

Cees ’t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group, said:

“It’s an important day for Carlsberg. We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and to help tackle climate change.”

While apparently the first beverage producer to use this technology on a wide scale basis, the concept of gluing cans together as an alternative means of packaging has been in existence for some time as noted in U.S. Patent 3,759,373 originally assigned to Adolph Coors Company for a six-pack of cans or bottles detachably connected together and free of any holder, tray, strap or wrapping. The connection is achieved by “... applying an adhesive material to container surfaces in the areas where adjacent containers contact each other....”

With the increased attention that plastic waste, primarily in the form of plastic packaging has received in the past year, will we start to see more companies move towards alternative packaging means such as this? Is your business contemplating such a change?

At Techson our expertise in packaging and materials technologies can help guide you through the Intellectual Property issues associated with such a move. Give us a call and find out how we can serve your needs!