Coca-Cola Bottler Utilizes Fiber-Based Can Packaging

Graphic Packaging International installed the system at a New York bottling plant.

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Graphic Packaging International

Fiber-based consumer packaging leader Graphic Packaging International has launched its KeelClip packaging solution in the U.S. with the installation of a KeelClip 1600 multi-packing machine at Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages’ Elmsford, New York, production facility.

The equipment – the first to be installed in the U.S. following a successful expansion throughout Europe – is a sustainable packaging system for multipacks of cans. The innovative solution uses fiber-based packaging for can multipacks, eliminating the need for plastic rings and shrink wrap. It is estimated that KeelClip technology saved over 3 million pounds of plastic in 2021 alone, and has been used with over 550 million packs worldwide.

Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, the local Coca-Cola bottler for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York markets, is utilizing KeelClip technology to improve sustainability across its entire distribution footprint. The installation of the KeelClip 1600 machinery means the sustainable fiber-based packaging solution can be supplied to markets in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware. This transition will remove 75,000 pounds of plastic packaging per year from the supply chain for approximately 3.1 million cases.

“Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages is thrilled to be Graphic Packaging’s first partner in the United States to implement this innovative packaging system,” said Paul Mulligan, co-owner of Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages. “We are committed to producing sustainable products across our territories that eliminate waste and develop a circular economy. We know that the most valuable change to reduce plastic waste occurs when bottlers and packaging producers work together in partnership, and we look forward to partnering with Graphic Packaging on this sustainable packaging for years to come.”

“We are delighted to partner with Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages as we continue to roll out KeelClip technology around the world," said Bret Arnone, vice president, commercial operations & beverage packaging at Graphic Packaging. "This technology has seen incredible success wherever it has been used, winning 10 industry awards and becoming the gold standard for can multipacks in over 20 countries. Most importantly, it’s proven to help our commercial partners reduce their reliance on plastics for a more sustainable future.”

KeelClip has many benefits on top of its sustainable design. It offers consumers enhanced hygiene, as the can tops are protected, plus easy-remove cans and finger holes for ergonomic carrying. The assembly process also enables cans to be oriented for optimal brand presence.

“At Graphic Packaging our commitment to innovation is limitless. Bringing desirable and effective packaging solutions to brands, retailers and consumers that are also sustainable, is a primary goal," Arnone said. "KeelClip has been adopted by some of the largest beverage companies in the world, making it a tried, tested and trusted solution for multipack packaging.”

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