SIG first in beverage carton industry to launch paper straw

SIG is the first in the industry to offer a market-ready alternative to plastic straws, announcing today that a paper straw solution will be delivered to first customers in the first quarter of 2019.

With growing concern about the environmental impact of plastic straws, many of the big players in the food and beverage industry have been exploring alternative solutions.

Markus Boehm, chief market officer at SIG, said: “We saw an opportunity to address concerns about marine litter and offer added value to our customers by helping them meet consumer and regulatory demands to scrap plastic straws. This win-win is a great example of how our commitment to go Way Beyond Good for the environment is delivering real business benefits.”

Nestlé will be the first customer to introduce SIG’s paper straw solution and has already tested the market launch in the Dominican Republic.

Michael Schwan, manufacturing manager RTD – dairy strategic business unit at Nestlé said: “We are committed to improving the environmental performance of our packaging and addressing the critical issue of single-use plastics is an important part of that. We need effective, scalable solutions and SIG’s new paper straw has the potential to meet that need.”

SIG does not make straws, but some of its portion-size packs are designed to be used with a straw for convenience on the go and the company has been working with suppliers to develop alternatives.

Paper already makes up 70-80% of SIG’s cartons on average, and the look and feel of paper also visibly reinforces its environmental credentials to consumers.

SIG worked closely with a manufacturing partner to develop an innovative and exclusive solution that makes the paper straw robust enough to pierce the closed straw hole of SIG’s aseptic cartons. The wrapper for the straw has also been redesigned to help prevent litter by remaining attached to the pack to be recycled along with the rest of the carton.

The new paper straws will be made of paperboard from FSC certified forests or other controlled sources. Customers can already include the FSC label on any SIG carton and they will be able to add the label to the paper straws once the manufacturing partner has completed FSC Chain-of-Custody certification, which is expected during the second half of 2019.

The new paper straw solution supports SIG’s efforts to use more renewable materials. The initial volume of paper straws will be limited during the launch phase, as SIG ramps up capacity with its manufacturing partner. SIG is also continuing to invest in new ways to apply this alternative straw solution to a wider variety of packaging formats.

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