Keg manufacturer moves forward to advance circular economy principles
Canadian PackagingSustainability Metal Plastic KeyKeg Lightweight Containers Unikeg
Lightweight Containers has grown into a market leader in the production of environmentally-friendly kegs
While many companies are just starting to wrap their heads about the aims and goals of the fledgling Circular Economy, Dutch beverage packaging product manufacturer Lightweight Containers is forging straight ahead into the new era of packaging circularity with its innovative KeyKeg and UniKeg plastic kegs made primarily (81 per cent) from reused plastic.
Founded in 2006, Lightweight Containers has grown into a market leader in the production of environmentally-friendly kegs for breweries, winemakers and producers of soft-drinks and other beverages across all six continents—operating production facilities in the U.S., Germany, U.K, the and the company’s native Netherlands, with two new sites scheduled to open up in Italy and Spain in the next year or so.
According to company’s chief executive officer Anita Veenendaal, “KeyKeg and UniKeg are the only kegs that, from the start, are designed with circularity in mind.
“In fact, KeyKeg is now reusing plastics to create their grip-rings and base cups, made of 100-percent PCR (post-consumer recycled) content.
“Beverage producers now favor KeyKeg and UniKeg because its double-wall technology provides the only sure way to operate kegs safely in countries where the temperature is high— retaining the beverage high-quality standards as set by producers in sectors such as brewing wine, kombucha and nitro coffee, to name but a few,” Veenendaal says.
Although traditional metal kegs are claimed to be perfectly recyclable and reusable, Veenendaal contends that the reality is quite different in many parts of the world.
“Recycling of large containers in traditional wastestreams is technically possible, but in general not applied,” she states, “as kegs often end up in landfill or are incinerated when left to the traditional waste stream, despite all the lofty claims that are made in the market.”
To address this, Lightweight Containers has launched a One-Circle campaign aimed at promoting the use of the company’s cradle-to-cradle kegs by collecting all the KeyKegs and UniKegs used at major festivals in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the U.K.—creating fully operational collection networks.
According to Lighweight Containers, similar collection programs will soon be unveiled in the U.S. and Asia.
“In markets such as Japan, the KeyKeg and UniKeg are already processed by the local wastestreams in line with country specifications,” Veenendaal states.