Calls for environmentally friendly packaging are growing louder. In this Innovation Spotlight, KHS Group tells us how it is aiming to confront this issue: together with Martens Brewery in Belgium, the turnkey supplier has sought to make the portfolio for a German food store chain more sustainable. 

Karlskrone beer is now to be sold as a film-free KHS Nature MultiPack™ of six – in redesigned 0.5-liter PET bottles made entirely of recyclate. FreshSafe PET®, the patented KHS Plasmax coating process, also provides optimum product protection and a long shelf-life. 

As part of its sustainability strategy, one of the goals the German food store chain has set itself is to use 30% less packaging material for its own brands by 2025.

KHS Group and Martens Brewery have played a major role in the first step in the switch to a sustainable portfolio. “We enjoy a long-lasting, strategic partnership based on mutual trust. Our current project is sending out an important message,” says brewery boss Jan Martens. 

“The development of this eco-friendly packaging shows that with the commitment of all those involved, sustainable systems can be successfully established on the market,” adds Edgar-George Petsche, head of market zone Europe/CIS at KHS.

Packaging module added to existing PET line

Martens fills its beverages on a number of KHS machines – into cans, glass bottles and – as in this case – PET. The two companies’ many years of partnership have facilitated the quick market launch of the new style of packaging. 

The brewery invested, among other things, in an InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder and an InnoPET Plasmax that coats the insides of the bottles with a wafer-thin film of chemically pure glass. The existing line has now been extended by an Innopack Nature MultiPackTM machine. 


The new system joins beverage bottles together not with shrink film but with dots of adhesive to form a stable yet easy-to-separate pack. This enables up to 90% of the packaging to be saved. Compared to the pack variant currently on the market, comprised of film and weighing in at 7.5 grams, the novel setup uses just 1.5 grams of adhesive. 

The beverage producer saves up to 67% in energy during production compared to shrink wrapping the containers in film as the material does not have to be heated. With the new pack Martens also does without trays. This saves raw materials such as paper and cardboard without impacting the pack’s stability. Should bottlers and retailers require them, however, trays can be easily incorporated into the process. 

New generation with increased capacity out this year

At the moment, up to 40,000 PET bottles an hour can be processed by Martens as Nature MultiPacksTM. Thanks to the expansion of its production capacities, KHS is able to meet a growth in demand. The systems provider is also to launch a new generation of NMP machines to market this year for the high-capacity range of up to 108,000 containers per hour. 

In addition to using Nature MultiPackTM and FreshSafe PET®, those responsible at the company have also consciously gone for a fully recyclable bottle made of 100% rPET, even though virgin PET is less expensive. “With this hat trick, we’re taking a clear stand for the protection of the environment. There’s no system to compare with this on the market,” concludes Martens.

This content was sponsored by KHS Group.