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KeyKeg, on the way to a circular economy



The subject of sustainability is – happily – drawing more and more interest, and will continue to now that the Paris climate accord has been reached. LWC has worked for a long time on making our packaging sustainable. We often receive inquiries about KeyKeg’s environmental performance and we are glad to answer them. 


To begin with, a KeyKeg is very light, weighing only 0.82 to 1.5 kg depending on whether it holds 10, 20, of 30 liters. Its light weight combined with its logistically smart shape means you can transport more beverage per shipment. The KeyKeg is also a one-way keg, so KeyKegs do not need to be returned or cleaned after use like steel kegs. This means that KeyKeg saves about 65% on transport and CO2 emissions compared to steel kegs. 


Bert Hanssen is Chief Technical Officer of Lightweight Containers and responsible for increasing the sustainability of KeyKegs: “A Slimline is not only recyclable, it already consists of 28 to 34% recycled plastics. We’re going to increase this content to an average of more than 60%. One important factor, however, is the availability of suitable recycled PET that meets our high quality standards. We also work with advanced sustainability software. It gives us detailed insight into what we can do to make KeyKeg even more environmentally friendly in the next few years, from product design and the parts we purchase, to our own manufacturing. One of the insights is that we need to work closely with our suppliers. After all, the more sustainable our suppliers are, the more sustainable the parts and ultimately the KeyKeg itself will be.” 

Business models 

Anita Veenendaal, Chief Commercial Officer: ”We’re convinced that only the most sustainable products deserve a place on the shelf. Besides asking R&D to make KeyKegs even more sustainable and keeping ahead of the competition, we’re looking at new business models that fit in a circular economy. One of these is to collect and reprocess old KeyKegs into new KeyKegs, with recycling lines we’ve partly developed ourselves. Another model is working with major distributors and local recycling companies. In both cases, we’ve been able to take the first steps.” 


KeyKegs are made from high-grade materials. After recycling, most of these materials can still be used for high-quality applications, so we can make new KeyKegs from them. The PET in KeyKegs does not contain nylon or “scavengers”, additives that make a plastic only suitable for lower-grade uses after recycling.


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The environmentally friendly one-way keg

We take our environment into account, even during the design phase. A KeyKeg more than meets European Union environmental criteria. The KeyKeg will eventually be made from over 50% recycled PET, and our goal is to recycle every KeyKeg to produce new KeyKegs.

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