AB InBev has introduced a new form of packaging for six-packs of Corona that harnesses surplus barley straw to create a sustainable packaging solution.
Corona is the first global brand to leverage technology and processes three years in development by AB InBev’s Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC). Barley seed will continue to make the beer, but barley straw, a leftover from farmers’ harvests, will now be used for the packaging thanks to a unique pulping process.
Combined with 100% recycled wood fibres, this process creates a paper board to produce packaging that is as strong and durable as a regular six-pack, but better for the planet.
Turning barley straw into paper fibre uses 90% less water in its production than the traditional virgin wood process, along with less energy and fewer harsh chemicals. Corona sees this as one path forward to eliminate the need for virgin trees and raw material from its supply chain in the future.
Upon completion of the successful pilot, AB InBev will review rolling out the technology to other brands, thereby increasing the potential positive environmental impact and the ability to influence the whole beverage industry.
Felipe Ambra, global vice president of marketing, Corona, says: “Corona is a brand born at the beach. We’re deeply connected with nature and appreciate all that it has to offer, so we want to continue to do our part to protect it. Our deep reverence for nature is what inspires our vision to become a sustainability leader in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, because we want everyone to be able to keep enjoying paradise.
Starting with our own packaging, we assessed where we could make changes within our production and supply chains to make a real difference. We are proud to announce this first step in reinventing the future of packaging for our industry.”
The new packaging is being launched today (18 March) with an initial 10,000 six-packs rolling out as a pilot in Colombia, followed by Argentina later in 2021 as Corona looks to scale the new solution globally.