Eastman Enables New Non-Phthalate Cap Liners for Anheuser-Busch
Eastman™ 168 non-phthalate plasticizer offers sustainable drop-in replacement that locks in freshness for 13 billion bottles a year
Eagle Packaging, the Anheuser-Busch owned company based in Bridgeton, Missouri, is responsible for supplying crown and closure liner materials for the brewer. These liner materials ensure the safety, freshness, and taste of nearly 13 billion beer bottles a year for numerous brands, including Budweiser and Bud Light, the best-selling beers in the U.S.
For the past 50 years, standard beverage-industry practice in closure liner production has included the use of more traditional plasticizers -- plastic additives used to increase the liner’s flexibility and durability. As the industry has shifted to the use of non-phthalate plasticizers, a team of Eagle Packaging specialists and Anheuser-Busch brewers approached several suppliers to test their non-phthalate plasticizer alternatives. The process would take rigorous taste and durability tests to ensure that Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to quality and clean taste was strictly maintained.
Eagle also tested how well the new liners could withstand a 16-week lifecycle. From the rigors of 140-degree pasteurization at the brewery, shipping to a distribution warehouse, and finally on to retailer shelves, the candidates were put through their paces.
The taste and durability winner was Eastman 168™, a non-phthalate plasticizer from Eastman Chemical Company with a history of safety and utility in the manufacture of toys, food and beverage packaging, and sensitive medical equipment.
An additional benefit is that Eastman 168™ was easily placed in the production line. Anheuser-Busch literally stopped running the line with the old plasticizer one day and seamlessly switched over to Eastman 168 the next, which was one of the smoothest changes the company had ever seen, according to the team at A-B.
Eastman consistently delivers product on time, meeting important inventory requirements, and helps ensure every bottle coming off the line upholds Anheuser-Busch’s high standards for quality and freshness. Anheuser-Busch emphasized how the Eastman team “provided great technical expertise, was always easy to work with and were great partners.”