The Kraft Heinz Company has introduced its inaugural fully recyclable cap for its renowned squeezy ketchup bottles.

This innovative development underscores a collaborative effort with packaging solution expert Berry Global, marking a noteworthy achievement in the pursuit of eco-friendly packaging alternatives.

Historically, Heinz sauce bottles utilised a flexible silicone valve to ensure a consistent sauce portion per squeeze. However, the challenge of recyclability prompted a strategic collaboration with Berry to shift to a monomaterial cap manufactured via polypropylene, meeting the necessary recyclability standards.

This switch addresses environmental concerns associated with the prior design, which often posed difficulties in recycling.

Eight years of development: balancing functionality and sustainability

The transformation to the recyclable cap was no small feat, requiring eight years of dedicated efforts, 45 prototypes, and more than 185,000 hours of development.

Berry played a pivotal role throughout the process, contributing to the design and production phases, including the creation of a series of tools in Berry’s in-house tool shop and the development of assembly equipment for industrial production.

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Rigorous testing procedures ensured the cap’s adherence to high-quality standards, validated by an extensive consumer survey confirming public approval for its functionality and sustainability.

Consumer-friendly design

The study revealed that the new cap not only maintained the optimal sauce dispensing amount but also improved squeeze performance, particularly when the bottle nears emptiness.

This consumer-friendly approach earned Kraft Heinz the Rigid Pack of the Year award at the 2023 UK Packaging Awards.

The caps are now being introduced across the UK on 400ml and larger top-down bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, with plans for future implementation across additional Heinz sauce varieties in the UK and Europe.

Jojo de Noronha, president of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, emphasised the environmental impact, stating that the recyclable cap initiative could potentially save 300 million plastic lids from being sent to landfills globally each year.