UK – British fiber-based packaging supplier DS Smith has partnered with Krones to develop ECO Carrier, a fiber-based alternative to shrink-wrap for PET multipack bottles.

ECO Carrier can be applied using the Krones mechanization system for its LitePac Top range, which applies sustainable packaging solutions to PET.

The system uses corrugated board clips to hold PET bottles together and is particularly suitable for a bottle range from 1L to 1.5L, in a multipack function of 2×2 or 3×2.

Designed using DS Smith’s innovative Circular Design Metrics, ECO Carrier has the potential for a 71% reduction in carbon footprint compared to plastic shrink-wrap, 100% recyclability, 100% renewable sources and is 100% planet safe.

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 fiber-based alternatives through an easy-to-implement solution.”

Krones’ Variopac Pro solution is designed so that it can be integrated seamlessly into the customer’s production line for minimum disruption and maximum efficiency.

First trials in the field have shown that the ECO Carrier application is fully compatible with Krones Variopac Pro and keeps up with line performance demands.

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.”

In addition, ECO Carrier is also fully customizable, enabling brands to incorporate their branding onto the cardboard bottle carrier and paper band.

Last month, DS Smith was exploring opportunities to create paper and cardboard packaging with materials available in gardens, parks and beaches.

The company aims to give new life to alternative fibers for paper and cardboard, including daisies, straw, cocoa shells, miscanthus (grass) and seaweed – part of its efforts to invest in sustainable resources and reduce waste.

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