Packaging Material Development Specialist
"We will continue to strive for further improvements in the coming years that will lead to less waste, less material consumption and lowe transport costs."
We use lightweight packaging and make sure that our bottles are reused. We promote recycling, as it helps us save resources and reduce our impact on the environment. Sustainability is key when it comes to designing and developing our packaging: we constantly ask ourselves whether we can be even more environmentally friendly and always strive to keep innovating.
Preparations completed for reducing amount of glass used in 50 cl Tyskie bottle. This move will be finalised in 2020.
Development of shrink-wrap made of 100% recycled plastic for can packaging.
31% weight reduction achieved for tray film. New pallet film put into production, made of 50% recycled plastic.
Pilot with reusable hard and soft cups at festivals. Soft cups made of recycled PET appear to be the best option. These R-PET soft cups will be used at various festivals in 2020.
We want to continue to reduce the amount of waste we produce by:
Joost Nawijn, Packaging Material Development Specialist – Royal Grolsch:
“Society is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability and demands responsible products. This is one of the reasons why we constantly ask ourselves whether we can be even more environmentally friendly and always strive to keep innovating. Achieving the same results with increasingly sustainable packaging is a major challenge for us, which we try to tackle by using more recycled plastic and cardboard, for instance, or modified pallet stickers. In the coming years, we will continue to strive to make further improvements that will reduce the amount of waste we produce and the amount of material we use, as well as lowering our transport costs. Sustainable production methods are the future of our company and, indeed, of the the world as a whole!”
Esther Saris, Key Account Manager Benelux – Smurfit Kappa
“Grolsch can be proud of the achievements in the field of sustainable and responsible business. In 2025, Grolsch wants to be completely CO2 neutral, an objective with character! You are not working alone on a sustainable future; it requires close cooperation. In practice, this means that we are constantly exploring new opportunities for material efficiency, innovation and the reuse of our packaging solutions. Smart packaging design makes it possible to reduce logistics movements and thus contribute to a fully CO2-neutral brewery. Sustainability and innovation are inextricably linked and offer new opportunities in collaboration. Sustainable goals will be the driving force behind a new era of creative approaches to products and services. I look forward to continuing our collaboration to contribute to a sustainable world. "
Kornuit is synonymous with sustainability, which is why this Pilsner brand will now only use sustainable Point of Sale (POS) materials to present its beers on shop floors. Through various projects, Kornuit wants to contribute to a better, cleaner world with less waste. To emphasise the importance of sustainability, consumers were given two pairs of socks made from recycled fishing nets with each purchase of a crate of Kornuit in July 2019. In previous years, Kornuit had already launched sunglasses (with frames made of ECO straw) and bottle openers (made from recycled beer kegs) as POS materials.
More info: press release, 23 July 2019
Our Kornuit Pilsner brand actively supports Trashpackers, an initiative by Hengelo-based Tijmen Sissing, who has called on backpackers to clean up waste on their travels and reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce themselves. As such, Trashpackers symbolises a common wish among young people: combining travel with sustainability. This initiative meshes well with the various projects that Kornuit already supports in order to contribute to a better, cleaner world with less plastic waste. To celebrate this fantastic match, Kornuit now supports Trashpackers financially, and the two partners are set to organise joint cleanup campaigns in the Netherlands in the future.
More info: press release, 20 August 2019
In 2019 we started using reusable carrier trays at festivals for our beer brands Grolsch and Kornuit. These reusable carrier trays are made of recycled plastic and will replace their cardboard predecessors. Festival organisers will be given the opportunity to borrow the reusable trays, with the brewer taking care of shipment, logistics, cleaning and storage. These trays are issued at the festival bars - provided festival guests pay a deposit - and returned later. Following the launch of our circular cups, we want to continue contributing to reducing the amount of plastic waste society produces, cleaner festival sites, and improving the overall festival experience. It is our aim to replace all cardboard trays with sustainable festival trays at all Grolsch and Kornuit festivals in 2020.
More info: press release, 28 May 2019
Together with other frontrunners in the events industry, Grolsch is going to promote the responsible use of plastic. Naturally, we have already started. Take our Kornuit crate, made of 100% recycled consumer waste, for instance, and our pledge to use circular cups at all our festivals in 2020. Within three years, the member organisations of Plastic Promise want at least 50% of all disposable plastic items, such as cups, plates, cutlery and ponchos, to be replaced by reusable products or to be recycled without loss of quality.
For more info, go to plasticpromise.nl
In February 2019, Grolsch also signed the Plastic Pact at the Circular Economy Conference, hosted by State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven. Grolsch finds it very important to take responsibility for sustainability and constantly strives to use less, better or no plastic at all. The signatories of this Pact have agreed to the following:
More information: see rijksoverheid.nl
We use lightweight crown caps for all our 33 cl return bottles. These caps are 17% lighter and contain 19% less steel than their predecessors, which means Grolsch now uses 100,000 kg less steel every year than before. On top of that, this change has reduced transport costs throughout the chain and has also lowered our environmental impact. Grolsch favours sustainable solutions without compromising on quality.
In 2017, three of our packaging lines started using the same foil for wrapping pallets. We used to use two different kinds, one of which was considerably heavier. Thanks to this change, we now use 20% less foil every year.
For our six-packs of Kornuit, we made the switch to 100% recycled plastic can film a while back. In December 2019, we started transitioning all our beer brands to can film made from 100% recycled plastic.
At the end of 2019, we started testing pallet film containing 50% recycled material, which we will start sourcing from our own waste streams starting from 2020. As a result, we recycle our pallet film and reuse it for Grolsch products.
In 2019, we tested tray film that was 33% lighter than the plastic film used at the time. The intention is to use this lighter tray film for our 24x33 cl and 24x50cl can tray packaging in the first half of 2020.
We save large amounts of glass every year by using lighter bottles, provided, of course, that these bottles are no less user-friendly, sturdy and safe than their predecessors. We always strive to reduce the amount of glass we use when developing new bottles, and in 2018, we managed to cut 10 grams of glass from our 33 cl export bottle.
Over the past 3 years, we have reduced the amount of glass used in these bottles by no less than 10%. The amount of glass used in our 30 cl domestic bottles has also fallen by 4% in the past 3 years. In 2018, our 50 cl Tyskie bottles were redesigned, after which 35 grams of glass were cut from each bottle. In 2020, we will be taking further steps to use even less glass in these Tyskie bottles.
In 2018 and 2019, our beer brands Grolsch and Kornuit launched a pilot with circular cups at festivals, offering festival organisers a full-service package that included delivery, logistics, cleaning and storage. In this way, we are looking to make our contribution to reducing the amount of plastic waste society produces, cleaner festival sites, and improving the visitor’s overall festival experience. During the pilot, we tested reusable hard cups and soft cups. The latter, made of recycled PET, appeared to be the best option. In 2020, we will be introducing these new, recycled cups to most of our festivals.
In the campaign titled ‘Never Give Up On Your Cup’, Grolsch will join forces with festival organisers and other beverage brands to call upon all festival visitors to return plastic cups and bottles to the bar or to a collection point. ‘Never Give Up On Your Cup’ is one of the initiatives spearheaded by the Plastic Promise, which strives to pave the way towards a circular drinking experience at events.
To find out more, go to yourcup.nl
A great example of a partnership in the field of deposit cups is the 2019 Liberation of Leiden
Watch the video about circular cups here.
In the spring of 2018, Grolsch introduced a new crate for Kornuit, made entirely from plastic consumer waste. This waste is collected, sorted, separated and ground, after which lighter plastics, such as polypropylene and polyethylene are dried, collected and reprocessed into plastic. This is the plastic we use for our Kornuit crates. The crates meet all required specifications and were created by Grolsch in collaboration with DS Smith Plastics, who supply them. This development has made Grolsch the first company in the world to produce crates made from 100% recycled consumer plastic.