Let's talk at the International Beer Strategies Conference in Porto

While efficiency has been the main driver for innovation in many industries, it is a particularly important factor in the production of beer crates. Nowadays, sustainability has become another important consideration and a challenge we need to take on together. With the beer industry reinventing its logistics chain to become more sustainable, Schoeller Allibert aims to stay one step ahead. At the upcoming beer conference in Porto, we will share our view of how the beer industry can commit to environmentally conscious beer crate solutions without compromising on durability. Visit us and come to the talk of our Vice President of Sustainability, Britta Wyss Bisang on this topic.

Thielmann, a manufacturer of stainless-steel containers, published a whitepaper in which they stated that packaging is the main contributor to beer’s carbon footprint, with 40% of all its CO2 emissions attributed to packaging alone. This has food and drink companies considering how the issue can be tackled at its source. Beer companies, in particular, have the opportunity to make a difference. The answer? The use of durable, reusable packaging solutions such as reusable bottles and crates.

Sustainability is the future

Beer producers are in charge of their own supply chain. With many opportunities for sustainable development at their fingertips, they can make a positive impact through their packaging and marketing strategy all while future-proofing their brand. So, looking at the practical side of things, how do we make beer crates and containers more sustainable?

Recycled plastic

In recent years, Schoeller Allibert has been emphasising the importance of reusable beer and beverage crates, with an increasing number of beer brands now showing interest in the sustainable nature of crates. One of the developments we constantly invest in is the beer crate made from recycled plastic. In 2021, AB InBev – the world’s largest brewing group with brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Hoegaarden – enlisted the help of Schoeller Allibert to develop an eco-friendly beer crate for their Corona brand. Our experts designed a crate consisting of 91% recycled plastic, 20% of which comes from the maritime industry. In addition, the Corona crate is 100% recyclable, further emphasising AB InBev’s switch to a circular waste stream. In 2022, we won the German Packaging Award for this innovative product.

Supply chains

Aside from using sustainable materials, let’s put our collective efforts into optimising our supply chains and truly make a difference. For example, why not solve the issue of plastic rings around beer cans – which are a well-known hazard to marine wildlife – by replacing them with a biodegradable alternative or small six-pack crates? And perfectly stackable containers, available in all shapes and sizes, will help our customers optimise their valuable cargo and retail spaces and make partially empty transportation vehicles a thing of the past. At the same time, the use of durable plastic crates allows clients, retailers, and end consumers to play a role in the circular lifecycle of beverage packaging as well.

Closed loops

Meanwhile, let’s not forget how every person in the supply chain can play a role in keeping plastic pollution at bay. For example, single-use plastics and drink cartons immediately contribute to the waste pile, but plastic crates used within a deposit scheme – such as Germany’s Pfand or the Netherlands’ statiegeld systems – are likely to be returned to the retailer and made available for reuse. These deposit schemes are the perfect example of an incentive to help consumers close the loop: they pay a small amount on top of the usual product price, which is reimbursed when they return the crate in good condition.

Doubling the effort

As both waste prevention and waste recycling matter, we are proud to say that at Schoeller Allibert, we support and enable both. Our crates, which are only a small part of our range of Returnable Transport Packaging, can be used countless times over a multi-year lifecycle, after which they are recycled into new crates. And we’re keen to go the extra mile. Our research team in Hardenberg (the Netherlands) is constantly looking into ways to upcycle our materials within the closed-loop system. In the end, it will benefit the environment and help our clients reduce costs and navigate the volatility of raw material market prices. The cherry on top? Every stakeholder in the beer crate supply chain gets to change its carbon footprint for the better.

The environment is our top priority. But with governments worldwide exploring the possibility of charging manufacturers for single-use packaging – the UK has already placed a tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled materials – the race towards sustainable packaging is gaining even more momentum. The beer industry can take the lead in revolutionising the beverage market with green packaging alternatives. Schoeller Allibert, for one, is dedicated to delivering innovative, efficient beer crates and packaging solutions. You, too? Let’s talk strategy.

Schoeller Allibert will be present at the International Beer Strategies Conference in Porto on 14, 15, and 16 May. Our Vice President of Sustainability, Britta Wyss Bisang, will speak more on this topic. We’d love to meet you there and exchange ideas.

See you in Portugal!

Are you ready to talk to us about this topic? Send us a message now and we will make sure to meet you in Porto or book a call!