Heinz Partners with WestRock to Remove 550 Tonnes of Plastic Packaging from Multipacks in UK Supermarkets as Part of £25 Million Investment in More Sustainable Solutions

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  • Heinz’s recyclable paperboard sleeve will replace shrink-wrapped multipacks of Heinz beanz, Heinz soups and Heinz pasta varieties on supermarket shelves
  • Developed by WestRock, the recyclable, renewable, responsibly sourced and carbon neutral paperboard sleeve[1] is part of Heinz’s £25 million investment in sustainable packaging solutions
  • Following a successful trial on Heinz to home, the new sleeve will roll out across supermarkets nationwide from September 2021

Heinz has announced today that it is continuing its mission to remove plastic from supermarket shelves with the UK roll-out of the Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve Multipack, a new, convenient, super skinny paperboard sleeve for all its multipack canned products.

Made with WestRock’s PEFC-certified CarrierKote® paperboard, the Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve is recyclable and comes from sustainably managed forests. The innovative wrap design uses no glue and 50 percent less material than a fully enclosed wraparound box and 10 percent less than a traditional paperboard sleeve design[2].

In addition to selecting renewable, responsibly sourced material and optimizing the design to minimize the footprint, Heinz is also advancing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the manufacturing and transport of this new innovative sleeve is 1carbon neutral. The Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve 4-pack design has a nearly 20% (18.7%) lower CO₂ footprint compared with the equivalent shrink-wrap design.[3]

Following a successful trial on Heinz to Home, the Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve will be available across the whole Heinz multipack canned range, including Heinz Beanz, Heinz Soups and Heinz Pasta varieties, in major retailers in the UK from September 2021.

Heinz’s innovative, recyclable packaging solution is an industry first for the food and drink world and part of a three-year, £25 million investment and installation at the Heinz Kitt Green factory near Wigan. It’s designed to provide convenience and value to shoppers, while offering a more sustainable solution to single-use plastic shrink-wrap packaging.

The robust and convenient to handle pack design enables people to carry multiple cans of Heinz Soups, Beanz and Pasta products. The design underwent rigorous consumer[4] and pack performance testing to ensure it’s comfortable, secure and convenient for shoppers while also reducing the amount of material required to the absolute minimum.

Offering a more sustainable solution as well as improved shopper convenience, the Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve Multipack will be rolled out across all UK supermarkets, thereby removing 550 tonnes of shrink-wrap packaging[5].

Jojo de Noronha, Kraft Heinz Northern Europe President, said:

“It is clear that convenience is important to shoppers – research[6] has found that 59% of UK shoppers say that if a package is easy to carry or transport, it is impactful to their overall satisfaction with the product. And sustainable packaging has a significant impact, too, with 71% of UK shoppers agreeing that they are more satisfied with a product if it is easily recycled or composted. Grounded in shopper insight, we feel this new recyclable and easy-to-carry paperboard sleeve ticks both of those boxes and is the perfect eco-friendly solution for our multipacks.

“Our packaging innovation team continues to work hard to develop further sustainable solutions across our business as we make a £25 million investment over three years to implement the infrastructure needed to ensure this roll-out is a success, which will be a win for the environment as well as shoppers across the UK.”

“We’re extremely proud to leverage the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of sustainable paper and packaging products to create customized, consumer-centric solutions like Cluster-Wing,” said Patrick Kivits, WestRock’s president of Consumer Packaging. “Our team worked in close collaboration with Heinz stakeholders to deliver a solution that would enable Heinz to achieve its sustainability goals and resonate in the UK market, while managing the cost and risk of this transition.”

This latest news follows an announcement from Heinz in early 2020 that it was removing plastic shrink-wrap from multipacks of Heinz Soup, Beanz and Pasta across Tesco stores nationwide, instantly removing 175 tonnes of plastic from shelves, (and consequently landfill).

Heinz is working to make further positive steps to reduce its impact on the planet – the company has made its 100% recyclable steel cans a lot lighter over the years through continued investment in the way the cans are designed. Heinz cans are one of the most sustainable packaging options on the market, being lightweight and widely recycled across the UK.

As part of Heinz’s pledge to aim to make 100% of its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, the company is also working on broader sustainability initiatives, such as a partnership with waste-free online shop Loop to collect, clean and refill used Heinz Tomato Ketchup glass bottles. What’s more Heinz Europe is on track to deliver its first circular Tomato Ketchup squeezy bottle to the market in 2021, a year ahead of plan, which means it can be made back into food-grade packaging.

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE: WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s team members support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.

[1] Carbon neutral manufacturing and transport
[2] Compared with standard 2x2 400g format
[3] Lower CO₂ footprint of 18.7% on the Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve 4-pack design, while the CO₂ footprint is reduced by 11%, based on weighted average annual volume 2020 for all Heinz multipacks. As verified by an independent LCA study that has been externally reviewed and which follows the ISO guidelines.
[4] Packaging was tested with 165 consumers in February 2020
[5] Based on an internal Heinz study, it’s estimated that the new Heinz Eco-Friendly Paperboard Sleeve Multipack will prevent using up to 550.217 tonnes of plastic.
[6] Source: WestRock Consumer Survey 2020 surveying over 3,000 consumers in US, Germany, UK, France and Spain.

Source: WestRock