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Grupo Modelo changes plastic rings for cardboard starting with Tulum

Mexico City, Mexico — In a pilot program, one of Mexico’s largest beer producers says they are going to switch plastic rings for cardboard in a bid to take part in eliminating plastic use in the country.

Grupo Modelo announced a pilot program that consists of changing the plastic packaging rings used for their six-packs with a fibrous cardboard for their Corona products. The company says the purpose is to gradually reduce the use of plastics in the manufacturing process.

Clarissa Pantoja, director of Corona in Mexico, reported that the pilot program will begin in January 2019 in Tulum in coordination with the organization, Parley for the Oceans.

“We look for solutions that have a big impact in the industry like changing the rings. This can become a new standard to reduce the use of plastic,” said Clarissa Pantoja, referring to the idea that they hope to eliminate plastics from all Grupo Modelo products.

The new fibrous cardboard rings are made of plants, are 100 percent free of plastic and when it comes into contact with water, decomposes into an organic matter that is not harmful to wildlife. Pantoja explained that the material also has a maximum duration of 200 days, which means that it degrades faster than any other material used in the industry.

Pantoja commented that this process of change begins first with Grupo Modelo’s largest brand, Corona beer and that Tulum’s selection is due to “the global impact of the Mexican beach.”

Corona is the first beer brand in the world to use this type of packaging, she added. To develop the new rings, the brewery worked with experts from other countries then adjusted its machinery and part of the production process.

“2019 will be a key year for us (…) we will know when we can apply it in the rest of the factories and in countries,” she added.