SIG has revealed it will launch tethered caps for its beverage cartons in Europe in the second half of 2021 in advance of the July 2024 deadline set by EU regulations.
As part of the EU’s Single-Use Plastic Directive (SUPD), it will become mandatory for caps and lids to remain attached to all beverage containers up to three liters in capacity from 2024.
The EU expects the design adaption to reduce plastic litter found on European beaches by 10 percent.
SIG’s redesigned caps do not compromise on convenience and will be compatible with existing filling machines and closure applicators, it confirms.
Tethering the cap to the pack avoids the cap getting lost while the cap and pack can be recycled together.
Customers choosing the company’s Signature packaging solutions will also benefit from tethered caps made from polymers linked to 100 percent renewable, forest-based materials.
“Our new tethered cap solutions build on SIG’s strong track record on sustainable innovation as we go Way Beyond Good for people and the planet,” says Ali Kaylan, SVP Innovation and VP Global Marketing at SIG.
“By announcing the launch three years ahead of regulatory requirements, we are providing reassurance for customers as they prepare to comply with forthcoming EU regulations.”
“Thanks to SIG’s flexible and adaptable systems, our tethered caps can be used with existing SIG filling lines and closure applicators, making our solutions a secure investment for the long-term.”
Compatible with existing filling machines, SIG’s tethered caps are designed to prevent litter and ensure caps are recycled along with cartons. They will be launched in the second half of 2021, well ahead of the July 2024 deadline set by EU regulations.
Consumer and regulatory demand
The aseptic packaging specialist says customers are facing increasing demand for environmentally sustainable packaging from consumers and regulators.
The focus is most centered on single-use plastics as concern for plastic waste leaking into the environment, especially the world’s oceans, intensifies.
SIG’s tethered caps will launch initially for the closures used with its most popular packs in Europe.
The tethered domeTwist will be available for SIG’s carton bottle combidome, as well as tethered combiMaxx and tethered combiSwift options for SIG’s core family-size carton portfolio.
Together, these account for around 90 percent of SIG’s European closures by volume.
The new tethered caps are designed to be used with existing SIG filling lines and closure applicators, with no major capital expenditure required by customers.
“The Directive is binding for EU member states when it becomes effective,” Hanno Bertling, senior product manager for closures at SIG, tells PackagingInsights.
“Nevertheless, many countries outside the EU adopt EU directives or parts and translate them into national law for trade facilitation, or come up with similar legal initiatives independent from European legislation.”
“The development outside the EU will be closely monitored by SIG.”
Robust double-hinge solution
SIG’s tethered caps use a robust double-hinge solution that proved highly suitable for consumers during market research.
When the pack is opened for pouring, the cap can be firmly fixed at the desired position by pressing it down until it clicks.
This functionality means the consumer can pour from the pack without the cap from getting in the way and without needing to hold down the cap with their fingers.
To close the pack, the cap is simply lifted slightly before closing in the usual way.
“With our tethered solutions, the caps can simply be fixed to the closure thread after opening and do not interfere with the product flow,” outlines Bertling.
“Reclosing is also extremely easy and even drinking from the pack is done with extreme ease.”
In related news, SIG’s Paper U-straw has made its commercial debut with Capsa Food’s “Central Lechera Asturiana” whole milk, a leading Spanish dairy brand.
PackagingInsights recently sat down with Dr. Christian Bauer, manager for environmental sustainability at SIG, to discuss the COVID-19 challenge, carbon reduction and the collaborative culture needed to drive regenerative change.
Tetra Pak is also supporting the SUPD transition with paper straw and tethered cap expansions.
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