DS Smith Plastics Develops First Beverage Crate from 100% Post-Consumer Waste

Grolsch, an international brewery which pays great importance to sustainability, was looking to further expand their sustainable image with a beverage crate made from 100% post-consumer plastic waste for its pils brand Kornuit. To realize this challenge, Grolsch looked to the expertise of DS Smith Plastics in Bilzen, Belgium.

DS Smith Plastics in Bilzen, Belgium are experts in the manufacturing of injection moulded reusable plastic beverage crates with a wealth of experience and knowledge using recycled plastic material. However, manufacturing a reusable beverage crate made from 100% post-consumer plastic waste went a step further.

Despite the developments in the field of recycling, it remained a challenge to produce a strong and long-lasting product from the plastic waste.

Reusable beverage crates are intensively used in the entire beer supply chain for decades and taken home by some consumers. Due to the above, whether a crate is made from virgin or recycled material, they have to equally perform and thus comply with all requirements stipulated in the technical specifications manual.

To execute the project, DS Smith Plastics conducted a series of extensive testing with post-consumer plastic material and from different suppliers. The prototype crate went through a series of specific tests at DS Smith Plastics’ beverage crate test centre. Because using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic was still an uncharted territory for DS Smith Plastics, the production process had to be adjusted several times to achieve the desired results.

DS Smith Plastics succeeded to complete the project successfully. The new crate, which together with the new Kornuit glass bottle is part of Kornuit’s new brand design, is launched on the market according to plan.

“When it comes to sustainability, we take our responsibility,” stated Jaap Sühre, Marketing Manager of Kornuit. “We challenge ourselves and dare to experiment. DS Smith was the ideal partner to achieve this.”

DS Smith Plastics and Kornuit have been nominated for the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2018 for the development of the crate, in the category ‘Best Recycled Plastic Packaging Product’.

Koninklijke Grolsch N.V. is a company with a history dating back to 1615. Grolsch belongs to one of the oldest and most successful breweries in The Netherlands. In February 2008 Grolsch was acquired by SABMiller (from South Africa). In October 2016, SABMiller was taken over by InBev. With this acquisition, Grolsch, together with Peroni and Meantime, was sold to the Asahi Group from Japan. The pils brand Kornuit was until now strongly linked to Grolsch, but it has learned to stand on its own two feet and now continues with its own new logo.