Smurfit Kappa’s TopClip solution will be launched on the market by leading beer brewer Royal Grolsch as a paper-based replacement for the plastic shrink wrap currently used on its can multi-packs.

Grolsch is part of the Asahi global food and beverage giant which owns a wide portfolio of brands including Peroni, Asahi beer, Mountain Dew and Schweppes tonic water. The TopClip product appealed to Grolsch as it eliminates the need for single-use plastic and is, according to Smurfit Kappa, 100% renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.

By replacing all its shrink wrap with TopClip in the Netherlands, Grolsch predicts that it will remove 100,000kg of plastic annually, which it reports is equivalent to more than 4 million plastic bags. The change is part of Grolsch’s goal to become a zero-waste brewery.

Smurfit Kappa says that TopClip delivers on both sustainability and functionality as it fully covers the top of can multi-packs, reportedly protecting them from contamination and providing “excellent consumer handling and branding opportunities”.

Speaking about the collaboration, Joost Nawijn, Packaging Development Specialist at Grolsch, said: “In close cooperation with Smurfit Kappa, the inventors of the TopClip packaging, we are looking forward to marketing this sustainable packaging solution.

“An independent Life Cycle Analysis has shown that replacing the current plastic shrink wrap around the cans with the new TopClip packaging ensures a CO2 reduction of 36% compared to new plastic shrink wrap and 16% compared to recycled plastic shrink wrap. The total so-called eco costs are even halved. The combination of the sustainable character, the high-quality appearance and the ease of use made Grolsch choose this solution."

Arco Berkenbosch, Smurfit Kappa VP of Innovation & Development, added: “We can't wait to see this breakthrough solution in the hands of the consumers. TopClip has generated significant interest since we launched it at Smurfit Kappa’s global Better Planet Packaging Day last November.

“The alignment between Grolsch’s goal of becoming a zero-waste brewery and our Better Planet Packaging initiative reinforces the fact that Grolsch is the ideal partner to be the first on the market with this solution. We are delighted to support Grolsch in launching their revolutionary multipacks and look forward to facilitating the eventual conversion of all multi-packs from shrink wrap to TopClip.”

Smurfit Kappa’s TopClip product will make its debut this month in a selection of supermarkets in the Netherlands.