Fibre-based alternative to plastic shrink wraps launched for multipack drinks

DS Smith has teamed up with packaging machinery and systems provider Krones to create ECO Carrier, a fibre-based alternative to shrink wrap for PET multipack bottles.

Showcased during the drinktec trade fair in Munich, ECO Carrier can be applied using the Krones mechanisation system for its LitePac Top range, which is said to apply sustainable packaging solutions to PET. The system uses corrugated board clips to hold PET bottles together and is described as being ‘particularly suitable’ for a bottle range from 1L to 1.5L, in a multipack function of 2×2 or 3×2.

Marc Chiron, sales, marketing & innovation director, packaging at DS Smith, said, “Our customers and consumers are demanding more sustainable solutions to replace problem plastic while integrating seamlessly with their production lines. Through our work with Krones, we are able to help our customers reduce their plastic usage, increase recyclability and transition to the circular economy by providing fully-recyclable fibre-based alternatives through an easy-to-implement solution.”

Wolfgang Huber, head of order center and assembly, packaging technology at Krones, added, “Our collaboration with DS Smith represents our shared sustainability ambitions which seek to provide products that align with consumers’ increasing desire for climate- and environment-friendly lifestyles. As a turnkey supplier with customers in every corner of the world, we have the expertise, the technologies, and the reach to contribute substantially to the complex sustainability challenges of today and tomorrow by making use of proven and state of the art packaging machinery made by Krones.”

Krones’ Variopac Pro solution is designed so that it can be integrated ‘seamlessly’ for the customer’s production line. First trials in the field are said to have shown that the ECO Carrier application is fully compatible with Krones Variopac Pro and keeps up with line performance demands.

ECO Carrier, designed using DS Smith’s Circular Design Metrics, is also customisable, enabling brands to incorporate their branding onto the cardboard bottle carrier and paper band.