SOUTH KOREA – Montbest has introduced “no-label” beverage packaging designed by Gentlebrand as South Korea continues to lead globally in environmentally sustainable packaging and recycling rates.

The bottle’s label-less design is a means to abide by South Korea’s increasing number of plastic regulations.

The new bottle – available in 330ml, 500ml, and 2-liter variants – is now rectangular rather than round, with grooves in each corner expected to give it a ‘premium look and feel’ by reflecting light and providing consumers with a better grip.

The company says they had to create “a new product identity” only using the logo, purple colorway and the details embossed directly onto the bottle to convey the brand’s core values.

The redesign focused on “striking the right balance between the size of the logo and the information required by law,” notes Montbest. Choosing to go label-less is an environmental decision for the company to reduce its plastic usage.

The move is in line with the country’s effort in fighting plastic waste pollution. South Korea has one of the highest recycling rates in the world, with 86% of Korea’s total waste being recycled.

The Korean government promised in September 2021 to cut plastic use by 60% before 2030 and become a plastic-free society by 2050.

The country banned single-use plastic cups at food-service businesses for years, which the government removed during the pandemic for two years.

The ban was reinstated in April of 2022 and was recently updated to include disposable cutlery and straws as of this month.

“South Korea and Japan are very concerned with [environmental] sustainability, especially energy transition and resource scarcity. It is the philosophy in these countries [driving advanced recycling],” says Susan Hansen, global strategist for food packaging and logistics at Rabobank.

The country also introduced the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources in 2019, which requires food and beverage packaging to contain labels that show a material’s recyclability grade.

A World Wildlife Fund survey found that 79% of the South Korean public was in favor of manufacturers and retailers taking responsibility for reducing, reusing, and recycling their plastic packaging.

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