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From single use plastic to fully recyclable

Packaging Solutions Green Solutions

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard and has an award winning portfolio of some of the world’s best known and revered single malt and blended Scotch whiskies. It is a long standing partner of Smurfit Kappa Composites, and the two companies have collaborated for many years on innovative packaging that enhances the brands and its sustainability credentials.

This latest project demonstrates how a strategic partnership approach delivers ongoing value throughout a brand’s lifecycle.

Challenge 1: Brand packaging with a tight launch date

Chivas Brothers had a hard launch date for its new brand, Ballantine’s Single Malt. The company needed a tube packaging system that would both support marketing and protect the product from damage during transit to sensitive markets.

To meet the impending deadline, Smurfit Kappa quickly developed a vacform tray that holds each tube securely, protecting it during movement. The tray met Chivas Brothers’ requirements and ensured a successful launch, with products arriving on the shelf in perfect condition.

Challenge 2: Removing single use plastics

Continuous improvement has long been key to this successful partnership with Chivas Brothers. After the Ballantine’s Single Malt launch, Smurfit Kappa had time to consider innovation opportunities – so it looked at ways to enhance the packaging system.

Pernod Ricard sustainability targets aim to remove single use plastics by 2025. Improving the Ballantine’s Single Malt packaging was an ideal way to contribute towards that ambition.

Smurfit Kappa therefore worked with Chivas Brothers to replace the plastic vacform tray with a recycled fibre based divider and top pad, which was developed with colleagues at Smurfit Kappa Lokfast. As a result, all the Ballantine’s Single Malt packaging is now 100% fibre based and fully recyclable.

Protected product, protected planet

Ballantine’s Single Malt is distributed to sensitive markets, where the product must arrive in perfect condition. The new packaging systems have ensured this at every stage.

Thanks to the fibre based update, Smurfit Kappa removed approximately 600 kg of single use plastic from Chivas Brothers’ supply chain. Not only is this helping the company meet its sustainability goals, but it also helps to avoid the implications of the forthcoming Plastic Packaging Tax. Chivas Brothers is delighted with the results, and the two companies are now looking at new ways to build on this success by eliminating all single use plastics from this supply chain.

This is yet another example of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging initiative in action. The initiative uses industry leading expertise in sustainable materials, packaging design and recycling to develop more environmentally friendly packaging solutions for our customers, our planet and ourselves.

‘’We are delighted with the solution of fibre based divider and top pad, not only does it contribute to our desire to remove plastic from our supply chain but it also allows us to increase the speed that we run our line at,’ said Jennifer Halley, packaging engineer at Chivas Brothers.

The Plastic Packaging Tax comes into force in April 2022, when a levy of £200 per metric tonne will apply to packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

There is always time to make your packaging more sustainable.


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