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.
We switched to corrugated cardboard, which is 33% thinner, for trays, featuring 12 cans per tray.
215,000 kg of glass saved by redesigning our bottles.
For the Dutch market, we no longer use aluminium paper for labels.
For our six-pack cans of Kornuit, we have switched completely to shrink-wrap made from 100% recycled material.
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. "
Together with other frontrunners from the events industry, Grolsch will encourage responsible plastic use. We are of course already working on this. Consider, for example, our Kornuit crate made of 100% recycled consumer plastics and our intention to use circular drinking cups at all our festivals in 2020. Within three years, the affiliated organizations at Plastic Promise want at least 50% of all disposable plastic items (such as cups, plates, cutlery and rain ponchos) to be replaced by reusable products or to be recycled to a high standard. For more information, please visit plasticpromise.nl
In February 2019, Grolsch also signed the Plastic Pact. This took place during the Circular Economy Conference led by State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven. Grolsch believes it is important to take its responsibility in the field of sustainability and to constantly take steps towards less, better or no plastic. With this Pact, the participants have made agreements to reduce plastic by 20% before 2025, to make all single-use plastic packaging 100% recyclable, to recycle at least 70% of all one-off plastic products and packaging without loss of quality, and that all plastic products and packaging that come on the market must consist of at least 35% recycled plastic. More information on 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-pack cans of Kornuit, we have switched completely to shrink-wrap made from 100% recycled material. We will be using the same foil for our other brands as well.
The thickness of the plastic pallet wraps, which are shrunk into place, has been reduced from 100 to 80 microns, which means we use 20% less foil every year. We also look at our cardboard packaging with a critical eye. Almost 100% of our cardboard packaging is made of recycled cardboard, and we constantly strive to cut back the amount of cardboard we use.
Using lighter bottles lets us save large amounts of glass every year. A key precondition, of course, is that these bottles are no less user-friendly, sturdy and safe than their predecessors. The pursuit of reducing the amount of glass we use is a continuous process, and it is something we always strive to do when developing new bottles. In 2018, we managed to cut 10 grams of glass from our 33 cl export bottle. Over the past 3 years, we 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 2018, our beer brand Kornuit started using circular cups at festivals. We started with a pilot at 8-10 events, offering festival organisers a full-service package that included delivery, logistics, cleaning and storage. With this move, we are looking to make our contribution to reducing the amount of plastic waste society produces, cleaner festival sites, and improving the overall festival experience. Our goal is to supply our circular cups to all festivals by 2020.
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.