Corona Launches Pilot Beer Pack Made from Surplus Barley

Using new technology, this circular process repurposes surplus barley into recyclable packaging material for six-packs.

Corona's new barley straw packaging
Corona's new barley straw packaging
Business Wire

Corona is the first global brand to leverage technology and processes three years in development by AB InBev’s Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC). This new technology gives the essential beer ingredient new life as a sustainable packaging solution. The new packaging will launch with an initial 10,000 six-packs rolling out as a pilot in Colombia, followed by Argentina later in 2021 as Corona looks to scale the new solution globally.

Said Felipe Ambra, Global Vice President of Marketing, Corona, “Starting with our own packaging, we assessed where we could make changes within our production and supply chains to make a real difference. We are proud to announce this first step in reinventing the future of packaging for our industry.”

Barley straw, a leftover from farmers' harvests, is used in a unique pulping process built to handle its relative fragility. Combined with 100% recycled wood fibers, this process creates a paper board to produce new packaging that is as strong and durable as a regular six-pack, but better for the planet.

Turning barley straw into paper fiber uses 90% less water in its production than the traditional virgin wood process, along with less energy and fewer harsh chemicals. Using leftover barley straw is also far more productive than the equivalent area of woodland, and Corona sees this as one path forward to eliminate the need for virgin trees and raw material from their supply chain in the future.

Upon completion of the pilot, AB InBev, Corona’s parent company, will review rolling out the technology to other brands. Said Keenan Thompson, Director of Packaging Innovation at AB InBev, “We’re excited to finally launch this new packaging innovation we’ve been developing over the past three years. At AB InBev we are continually pushing boundaries by developing scalable solutions. Today is a proud moment for us, not only are we providing an opportunity for farmers but we’re also delivering a more mindful solution to the consumer.”

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