The brewer’s UK and Ireland business said that the £6.3m (€5m) spent on film instead of cardboard would “drive innovation” within the beer category when it was rolled-out this month.
The switch would also cut carbon emission by 4%, while restricted ink coverage (less than 5% of packaging weight) meant that the film was 100% recyclable, Molson Coors said.
Jim Shaw, head of supply chain strategy and change, Molson Coors (UK & Ireland) told BeverageDaily.com: "We will be rolling the packaging out on selected Coors Light packs from July onwards and we are in the process of evaluating its use with other brands."
Film recycling facilities?
So how was Molson Coors working to ensure that facilities were in place to recycle the new material?
"We have agreed designs on shrink wrap packaging that restricts ink coverage to no more than 5% of the overall packaging weight, in order that shrink wrap film can be recycled at recycling points in some supermarkets," Shaw said.
He added: "Where possible, we have included OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label Scheme) approved labels within the product packaging design for consumer information and to encourage recycling."
Selected large pack sizes (one is pictured) will also feature a carry handle – which the brewer claims is an industry first – to increase handling ease for customers (while replenishing stock) and end consumers.
Shaw said that the firm was the first major UK brewer to invest in film as a secondary packaging technology on such a large scale.
Burton brewery investment
Asked why Molson Coors had decided to roll out the new packaging for Carling this summer, and not before, Shaw explained that in 2011 Molson Coors began transforming its Burton-on-Trent Brewery by investing an additional £15m per year for the next five years.
"As part of this, we have invested in new shrink wrap packaging technology. Its chief aims are to reduce Molson Coors' overall carbon footprint as well as meet the future needs of our consumers and customers."
Design consultancy Echo has also designed what Molson Coors describes as a “new creative visualisation” of Carling, Britain’s best-selling lager, which uses the Union Jack flag.
This will be used across Carling’s outdoor, print, and TV advertising, as well as on limited edition retail packs of 10, 12 and 20 Carling cans.
Molson Coors employs over 2,000 staff in theUK, operates four breweries and has a 20% market share of the UK beer market, where major brands include Carling, Coors Light, Grolsch and Worthington’s.