The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) recognized a new category at its 66th National Paperboard Packaging Competition, awarding its first Eco Award to the Cap-It packaging system for having the largest positive impact on sustainability.
Cap-It can be used as an alternative to six-pack rings and plastic film as a way of keeping together multi-packs of containers during shipping. The Cap-It packaging system debuted in 2008 as a carrier for plastic Pepsi bottles.
The product is manufactured by Graphic Packaging International, Inc., which has committed to only using paper fiber from sustainable forests.
Paperboard is also completely recyclable with other mixed paper, whereas plastic film and six-packs are made of petroleum and have fewer recycling options.
Plastic is often preferred in packaging because of its durability and flexibility, but Cap-It’s system is tear and humidity resistant. Other features of this packaging:
- The paperboard provides a “billboard” for brand messaging, nutritional information and barcodes
- A “hand hole” for easier carrying of packages and less accidental drops
- The ability to carry multi-packs ranging from 12 to 32 ounces
“We appreciate the industry’s recognition of the Cap-it concept, which we believe can reposition paperboard as a competitive alternative to plastic rings and shrink film,” says John Best, vice president, Product Development, Graphic Packaging International, Inc. “Cap-it paperboard multipacks demonstrate that designing for sustainability all along the supply chain can deliver more value compared to conventional plastic choices.”
According to the PPC, paperboard currently accounts for almost 75 percent of the packaging recycled in the U.S. Paperboard can be recycled into new paperboard up to seven times, and then the fiber can be downcycled into insulation or soil enhancements.