Karl Knauer takes part in the German Sustainability Award finals

Cardboard replaces polymer film

To speak is silver, to do is gold. In line with this credo, the German Sustainability Award Foundation, in cooperation with REWE Group, once again honours this year’s outstanding ideas for more sustainable packaging. One of the three companies that made it to the final is packaging specialist Karl Knauer. In collaboration with Krones AG, the system supplier for the beverage industry, the company from the Black Forest developed “LitePac Top”, a secondary packaging for PET beverage bottles made of 100 % cardboard, which substitutes the standard shrink film. As a result, it is not only possible to save vast amounts of fossil raw materials, but also up to 90% of energy in production. In addition, the fact that the "LitePac Top" cardboard prevents piles of rubbish in shops and is much more comfortable to carry are two additional positive effects that may also influence the jury's decision, to be announced on 4 December.

 Cardboard instead of film: Massive savings for the beverage industry

Following the ban on plastic bags and disposable plastic, secondary plastic packaging has also come under criticism in the EU. Anyone who is looking to reduce plastic packaging in the food retailing industry can find the greatest potential in the beverage sector. This is why manufacturers such as Krones and Karl Knauer, which already offer innovative and sustainable solutions, are now attracting a lot of attention on the market. With the globally patented cardboard carrier “LitePac Top”, developed by the packaging specialists Karl Knauer KG from the Black Forest together with Krones AG from Neutraubling, Germany, between 60,000 to 80,000 tons of shrink film are to become unnecessary every year in Western Europe alone. An appropriately designed cardboard carrier is simply clipped onto the bottles or cans with the “LitePac Top”, which holds the containers reliably together. For example, for 1.5 and 2-litre bottles, a banderole made of 100% paper guarantees additional stability.

The jury recognises that with the cleverly designed beverage carrier, fossil raw materials are replaced by certified renewable cardboard materials. These can be disposed of easily in the paper waste and recycled several times through the paper recycling stream.  The energy-intensive process of shrinking is also dispensed with, saving around 90 % energy for the packaging process. The cardboard solution has about 30% less CO2 emissions than shrink packaging as a whole and reduces the impact on climate change by an impressive 72% in terms of CO2 equivalent!

The “LitePac Top” is also very popular with retailers, but above all with consumers, for another reason: The “LitePac Top” was designed by Karl Knauer with an in-built carrier, with which the packages weighing up to nine kilograms can be carried comfortably even over long distances with no painful incisions. Environmental protection and convenience have been perfectly reconciled here. If this will be sufficient to win the German Sustainability Award in the special competition for packaging will be revealed in early December.