Industry News

Corona launches plastic-free six pack rings

Corona has announced that it will pilot plastic-free six pack rings in select markets as part of the brand’s commitment with Parley for the Oceans to lead the industry with eco-friendly packaging.

Both Corona and Parley have a shared mission to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from marine plastic pollution. The partnership began with a commitment to protect 100 islands by 2020 and expands to include the pursuit of scalable innovation that can change the status quo.

With roughly 8 MM metric tons of plastic entering the ocean each year, there is a need to confront the issue on multiple fronts, which is why Corona has adopted Parley’s AIR (Avoid Intercept Redesign) strategy to not only ‘avoid’ and ‘intercept’ plastic as much as possible, but also help ‘redesign’ solutions that use the material. Corona plans to start the project in Mexico, where the plastic-free rings will be piloted in Tulum at the beginning of the year.

“Our oceans are under attack. We are taking their life in rapid speed, destroying the chemistry that allows us to be here,” said Cyrill Gutsch, founder and CEO, Parley for the Oceans.

“Therefore, we are bidding on the few who take the lead in true change. The ones who are shaping the future with us. Corona is such an Ocean Champion, a powerful ally in our war against marine plastic pollution — and in building the material revolution that will lead us beyond it.

“We share the goal of phasing plastic out for good, because we simply can’t afford its toxic impact anymore.”

Although Corona is primarily packaged in glass and fibreboard, the brand sees an opportunity to help redesign a common source of plastic in the category – six pack rings.

The plastic-free rings being tested are made from plant-based biodegradable fibres, with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials. If left in the environment, they break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife, whereas the industry standard plastic six pack rings are made from a photodegradable form of polyethylene that results in increasingly smaller pieces of plastic if not recycled.

Although most plastic rings are recyclable, the reality is that the majority of all plastic ever created hasn’t been recycled, which is the motivation for brands like Corona to pursue solutions that avoid the material entirely.

“The beach is an important part of Corona’s DNA and we have been working with Parley to address the issue on the frontlines where plastic is physically accumulating,” said Evan Ellman, Corona Better World director.

“We also recognise the influence a global brand like Corona can have on the industry, and with the support of Parley, are pursuing scalable solutions like plastic-free six pack rings that can become a new standard to avoid plastic for good.”

Since the partnership launched in 2017, Corona and Parley have conducted over three hundred clean-ups in over 15 countries, including the Maldives, Palau, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Indonesia, Italy, South Africa and Australia, with over 7,000 volunteers from more than 200 locations participating in the project, totalling in more than three million pounds of plastic waste collected.