Good for the environment, but annoying

Noos News

“Very annoying”, “It’s not fun to drink with something like that on your mouth” to “Helpful, because you don’t lose it that way”. Many people have noticed that hats are attached to the package these days. This will be mandatory in the European Union from next month.

This measure is aimed at combating litter and beverages into which manufacturers have put a lot of work.

“We started by developing the cap so that it fits well in the bottle and is easy to use,” says Karlin N. t. Veld, Coke’s top manager. “Then we started pilots and then converted production lines. This requires significant investment.” – Cola Netherlands.

Everyone does it

In Coca-Cola’s home country of the United States, cola bottle caps are still unscrewed. The question then is whether change here would have happened without commitment from the European Union. “We really support it because we see that fewer caps end up in the environment,” he says in ‘t Veld. “And the entire industry is involved. Everyone who markets the drinks makes sure their caps stay on the bottles.”

Package manufacturer Tetra Pak began developing the new cap five years ago. The company also conducted extensive consumer research. According to company spokesman Peter Heda, it was a huge task to ensure that around 1,000 packaging lines at different customers were converted on time. “Because it seems – from Brussels – a small adjustment, but logistically it was a big operation.”

He knows what consumers particularly want: “The packaging should be easy to open and close, and easy to pour. So you first open the cap and then twist it half a turn, so it doesn’t get stuck in the bottle.” Pour the bottle.”flow He admits that people who want to drink from a small container will find the stuck cap very annoying. “Yes, it takes some getting used to. But the idea is that even in those cases the cap stays on the bottle. Only then can you help the environment,” says Hedda.

Beverage manufacturers say consumer testing has been done, but rheumatology patients, for example, are not happy with the new caps. “Because of the plastic ring, it has a smaller turning surface than loose caps, and this means there is less grip to open the cap,” says a Reuma Nederland spokesperson. On people who are well.

There are also people who collect bottle caps to raise money for charities, such as Dickij’s Doppen Depot Culemborg. “I now have 2,000 kilograms less of the cover than I did a year ago,” says Dekej Vroij. “This saves her 500 euros in revenue. She advises people to remove the cover and hand it to her.

“People think they won’t get a deposit if they don’t hand over the cover, but that’s not the case. Just remove it with a knife if necessary, but carefully of course.”

They notice at recycling companies that more bottles arrive with a cap. They are not keen on this, because the prices of the material that can be made from hats are low.

“A large portion of the caps go to customers who use them to make new packaging, but a large portion also goes into the furnace,” says Dennis van Kroonenberg, who works for recycling company Wellman.

“Written on the lid Recycle me, but then the technology and process must be set up in a way that allows this to happen. “I now focus on the raw material from which the bottles are made, which is not the cap.”

In order to properly recycle the lids, additional machines must be purchased and this is not worth it at current prices. Packaging manufacturers sourcing a lot of plastic from Asia, where prices are much lower than here, isn’t helping either, according to Van Kronenberg.

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