Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo has come up with a simple way to keep cans together without using packaging material: they are fitted with screw threads.
No other materials needed
A six-pack is usually kept together using rings of plastic or, in the best case scenario, cardboard. The plastic rings in particular are a serious thread for many birds and sea animals. Beer brand Corona has now come up with a way to keep its cans together without introducing another packaging material: by fitting the cans with a screw thread, they can simply be screwed on top of each other. The new system has been introduced under the name 'Fit Packs'. The design has received an award this week in France.
Corona hopes other manufacturers will also use the interlocking cans, and as such will not file for a patent for the design - so it can freely be imitated by anyone.
Other drink manufacturers have also developed alternatives for the traditional plastic rings: Florida-based Saltwater Brewery came up with packagings made from wheat and barley left over after the brewing process. That is not only biodegradable: it actually is edible. Carlsberg, for its part, is using recyclable glue to keep the cans together, so far less plastic is needed. A number of other brands, including Guinness, have simply replaced the plastic with cardboard.