Returnable mini beer crate for beer launched by Carrefour, Cornet and DW Reusables

The beer market has become more sustainable with the introduction of a Shelf Ready Returnable Beer Packaging to reduce Waste and CO2 Emission

Carrefour België, Cornet takes the lead with a new convenient returnable mini crate that will soon be available at (a selection of) Carrefour stores in Belgium.

As outlined in the new European Regulations for Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWR), reusable packaging for the beverage industry is one of the key drivers to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. 

Returnable beer crates are one of the oldest examples of a truly closed-loop system. Together with reusable bottles, the packaging circulates for decades between breweries, retailers, and end-consumers.

This first and last-mile solution cannot be found in many other supply chains. A small deposit maximises the return rate to almost 100%, reducing tons of single-use packaging waste. After their useful long lives, the crates are collected to be reground and turned into new crates.

The returnable and fully brandable six-pack is the next logical step to returnable beverage crates. Sold per six bottles, they are easy to carry and easy to store, with the additional advantage that the mini crate is easy to return via the well-known Tomra machines.

The returnable six-packs will be stored on the shelves of the retailer keeping the same shopping convenience of the popular single-use packs, including optimized shelf space, easy stock replenishment, and reduced product handling. Additionally, the durable packs are stackable and reduce the risk of pre-opened, unsellable units or damaged goods. 

Lotte Krekels, Packaging Manager Carrefour Belgium said: “Carrefour wishes to spearhead a retail industry transition toward a more reasonable and measured consumption of packaging, by working alongside its rivals to promote sustainable packaging innovation and by raising consumer awareness on the matter. “

“Urbanisation is influencing the trend towards smaller reusable packaging. We are optimistic that this initiative will inspire other brands to embrace similar practices,” Marine Bresson, CSR and Sustainability Manager Carrefour added.

Royal Swinkels’ brand Cornet will debut the shelf-ready reusable six-packs. With this initiative, the brewery is taking the lead in the development of sustainable packaging.

DW Reusables, the producer of the packaging is taking it one step further and will manufacture the packaging from 100% post-consumer waste. By using post-consumer plastic waste to produce the packaging, the materials are brought back in a circular economy. 

The initiative was enabled with support by VLAIO, the Flemish Department of Innovation, under the form of a Living Lab.  The Living Lab is carried out by the broad partnership of DW Reusables, Carrefour, Royal Swinkels, the Belgian Federation for Food (Fevia), the University of Antwerp and the socio-economic enterprise Mivas.

The partnership was formed with support of the Flemish Green Deal Anders Verpakt.