Beer breweries are a leading sector for packaging and marketing beverages. This sector can play a pioneering role in the field of sustainable packaging. Strangely enough, the trend in this industry seems to be moving towards less sustainable; more packaging material, more plastic.
How can it be different?
Labeling in particular is a necessary principle of beer packaging. Plastic crates and glass bottles can be easily reused. As soon as printing or a label is involved, the first challenge begins.
Label with paper and glue
Labels used to be made of paper and glued with a Casein-based glue. The perfect solution for modern days. However, many breweries have switched on synthetic glue or transparent plastic labels.
Cardboard instead of plastic
There are various cardboard packaging, such as a cardboard wraparound for bottles and cans, instead of sealed plastic packaging. There are even cardboard carrier clips available. Any glue for gluing them together can be perfectly recycled as standard in the paper flow, if desired there are even biobased and biodegradable adhesives available to produce these packaging. These glues are, for example, based on modified starch.
For stacking cardboard packaging, stretch film on anti-slip sheets is often used, there is a solution with anti-slip adhesives that is much less harmful to the environment. Such adhesives have the same synthetic origin as stretch film, but only a fraction of the raw materials are needed. Also financially, this amount of glue does not count towards the packaging tax, because the glue becomes part of the recycling flow of the cardboard.