Market first: Schoeller Allibert creates beer crate from maritime plastic for AB InBev

In 2021, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing group, set itself the goal of developing a highly sustainable beer crate for one of its brands. They knew who to ask: Schoeller Allibert. We are a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of returnable and recyclable packaging solutions, so this was a challenge we were happy to accept.

Protecting the oceans

Because this particular AB InBev brand has a strong focus on protecting the natural world, and especially the oceans, Schoeller Allibert proposed that AB InBev not only use high-density polyethylene (HDPE) regrind as raw material, but also add recycled plastic from the maritime industry, which includes fishing lines, nets and ropes.

The result: the brand-new Corona 20-pocket beer crate, launched in Germany. The crates each consist of at least 91% recycled plastic. It is AB InBev’s most sustainable packaging to date. It is also the very first beer crate on the market to use maritime industry waste plastic, which accounts for at least 20% of the total.

100% recyclable

This latest addition to AB InBev’s crate family is 100% recyclable, allowing the beer brand to switch from a linear to a circular plastic waste stream.

A lot of thought went into the design of the new packaging solution. The crates have a marbled exterior, which is different for each unit. This adds to the brand’s value on several levels.

  • Firstly, it creates a ‘riptide’ effect, which resonates with its maritime narrative.
  • Secondly, it makes the crates stand out where it matters – on the shelves, where consumers make their choice.
  • Thirdly, it resonates with the brand’s own ‘perfectly imperfect’ personality, in tune with the wild unpredictability of nature in general, and oceans in particular.

Twin goals

“We always say that brands don’t have to choose between sustainability and performance for their packaging. The Corona 20-pocket beer crate is a prime example,” comments Schoeller Allibert CSO Jan De Witte.

“Corona beer was ‘born on the beach’ and is made from 100% natural ingredients. That inspired our team to pursue the twin goals of protecting the environment and ensuring customers can enjoy the product sustainably.”

User-friendliness

By coupling sustainability with visibility – via its marbled design – the attention-grabbing Corona 20-pocket beer crate gives consumers a clear choice to actively protect the natural world.

However, sustainability and visibility weren’t the only design considerations. Another major objective was user-friendliness – hence the centre handgrip, which offers consumers a substantially more ergonomic grip than other 20-bottle beer crates on the market.

“The Corona 20-pocket beer crate is a great achievement for AB InBev and for the wider beverage packaging industry. We are proud to contribute to AB InBev’s shift towards circularity in packaging, and we will continue to use our innovative drive to pioneer other packaging solutions for a more sustainable future,” concludes Jan De Witte.

To find out more about the latest innovations in returnable transport packaging (RTP) from Schoeller Allibert, please visit www.schoellerallibert.com.

Interested in watching the video of the crate coming together? 

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