In partnership with Atlanta-based WestRock and Grupo Gondi, Grupo Modelo is investing about $4 million in WestRock’s CanCollar Eco solution in Quintana Roo, a Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula. Grupo Modelo wants to advance its sustainability goals by eliminating its use of plastic rings on packaging in Mexico.
According to a news release from WestRock, Grupo Modelo is the first company in the Americas to incorporate the recyclable CanCollar Eco technology, which replaces hard-to-recycle plastic packaging and is expected to result in about 100 fewer tons of plastic waste from going to landfill each year.
“At Grupo Modelo, we are continuing to evaluate various alternatives for plastic rings in the packaging of beer cans,” says Soqui Calderon, regional director of sustainability for Grupo Modelo. “This is how we discovered CanCollar Eco, a new solution developed by WestRock and produced in Mexico by Grupo Gondi. Made from recyclable paperboard, this innovative packaging uses the least amount of material required to hold and to keep our beer cans secure through the supply chain.”
According to WestRock, Grupo Modelo will first use the CanCollar on its 6-pack 355-milliliter Corona Extra, Montejo and Modelo Especial cans. Later this year, the first high-speed CanCollar Fortuna machine will be installed to eliminate the use of plastic rings across Mexico on 6-pack packaging, including 355 million cans of Corona Extra, Montejo, Modelo Especial, Barrilito, Negra Modelo and Victoria as well as 4-pack 473-milliliter cans of Victoria, Modelo Especial and Corona.
“At WestRock, we are driving greater sustainability by working with our customers to develop and implement new, eco-friendly packaging solutions,” says Patrick Kivits, president of Consumer Packaging at WestRock. “The introduction of CanCollar Eco to the Mexican market, in partnership with Grupo Gondi, is an exciting example of this work. We look forward to helping Grupo Modelo meet its sustainability goals through the implementation of this innovative, fiber-based packaging.”