Liberty Coca-Cola ditches plastic multipack rings for paper packaging

Liberty Coca-Cola ditches plastic multipack rings for paper packaging

Sustainability

Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages (serving Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York City) has joined forces with WestRock to introduce an eco-friendly shift in packaging. The collaboration aims to replace plastic rings for multipack bottled beverages with a paperboard carrier.

The new paperboard carrier packaging system is anticipated to be operational by the summer of 2024, complementing Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages' existing paperboard packaging for mini-cans introduced in 2022. The combined efforts of both packaging systems are projected to eliminate 200,000 pounds of plastic annually from Liberty's footprint.

The PETCollar Shield Plus, a paperboard multipack carrier and part of WestRock's PETCollar™ product family, will be utilised at Liberty's Philadelphia production facility for packaging Coca-Cola's top brands in multipacks. The carriers, designed for the 12-ounce and 16.9-ounce products, will offer durability and ease of handling, catering to Liberty's multi-state distribution territory. Notably, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages will be the inaugural bottler globally to adopt the PETCollar Shield Plus bottle clip solution.

This strategic move aligns with Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages' commitment to sustainability. The company has previously replaced plastic rings for mini-cans, pioneered the production and distribution of bottles made from 100% recycled plastic in the United States (excluding cap and label), and installed a sustainable compactor to significantly reduce its carbon footprint while processing large volumes of plastic and aluminium containers for recycling.

Coca-Cola multipack credit Mike Mozart
Old 12 oz Coca-Cola multipack with plastic ring. Photo credit: Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)
Fran McGorry, co-owner of Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, said: We’ve made it our mission to invest in technology that produces recyclable beverage containers that can return to our system while significantly reducing the need for secondary plastic packaging. We know the most valuable change to reduce plastic waste occurs when bottlers and packaging producers work together. We are proud to partner with WestRock to make this change.

The partnership with WestRock marks another milestone in Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages' ongoing efforts to enhance environmental responsibility.

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