Philadelphia-based bottler Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages has unveiled fiber-based paper packaging that will replace plastic rings on multipack soda cans, the company announced Tuesday.
Graphic Packaging International’s KeepClip carton packaging system has already been used by Coca-Cola bottlers in Europe, but Liberty says its change is the “first of its kind” in the United States.
The new packaging is expected to ship to all stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, as well as parts of Connecticut and Delaware, Liberty said.
A Liberty representative told NBC10 that the rollout will begin within the next 30 days.
The new packaging is estimated to remove 75,000 pounds of plastic packaging per year from the supply chain for approximately 3.1 million cases of Coca-Cola in the Northeast, the company added.
“Liberty is thrilled to be the first bottler in the United States to implement this innovative packaging system,” said Paul Mulligan, co-owner of Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages. “We know that the most valuable change to reducing plastic waste occurs when bottlers and packaging producers work together in partnership. We look forward to partnering with Graphic Packaging to share this sustainable packaging in our local communities for years to come.
The fiber-based packaging will be manufactured at one of Liberty’s New York facilities.
Liberty has several production centers on the East Coast, including sites in Philadelphia, PA, Moorestown, NJ and Elmsford, NY, as well as distribution sites in Philadelphia, PA; Marmora and South Brunswick, NJ, and the Bronx, Maspeth, Elmsford, New Windsor and Smithtown, NY
This isn’t the first time Liberty has tackled sustainability issues: Last summer, Liberty became the first local Coca-Cola bottler to produce and distribute bottles made from 100% recycled materials in the United States. United, the company said.