Budweiser Budvar UK is trialing Smurfit Kappa's TopClip, a cardboard beer can packaging solution, as the Czech beer brand works to reduce plastic waste.
The branded packaging, holding six 330ml cans of Budweiser Budvar Original Czech Lager, will be available in 168 Waitrose shops. Made from paper, it is reportedly 100% recyclable, and the company projects that the product will eliminate an estimated metric tonne of single-use plastic waste in its first year of use – the equivalent of a quarter of a million plastic bags.
It reflects the distinctive new Budweiser Budvar design seen on bottles and cans. Along with the classic red logo, and historic roundel for the town of České Budějovice (where all Budweiser Budvar is brewed), the design offers “Greetings From The Republic of Beer”, supporting the brand’s new marketing position.
Simon George, managing director of Budweiser Budvar UK, said: “As a brewery owned by a nation, not a corporation, we have a particular responsibility to take a lead on packaging waste issues. The challenge has always been to offer our premium beer in packaging that holds it safely and securely, and sends the right message about the brand, as well as meeting our environmental obligations.
“We’re delighted to be working with the specialists at Smurfit Kappa, as well as Waitrose as our retail partner, to trial this new solution and play our part in the reduction of plastic waste in the supply chain.
“The initial results, in terms of both the robustness of the TopClip and the response from consumers, are very promising. We’ll be assessing the trial carefully before offering the new packaging to other retail customers.”
Louise Witchell, beer buyer at Waitrose, said: "Reducing single-use plastic packaging is really important for us, and we know it is for our customers too. We're sure our customers will enjoy seeing this new packaging on our shelves."