Neunkirchen, 22 August 2018. Worldwide demand for stainless steel KEGs will continue to rise in the short and medium term. That’s the view of Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems, and he is not only referring to the order books in his own company. The expert sees the ban on one-way plastic products currently being debated by the EU as one additional reason. Mainly responsible, however, is the general trend towards sustainability and the increasing variety of beers for which stainless steel KEGs, both large and small are much better suited.
“Though PET KEGs do have their benefits, their use will be considerably reduced over the coming years”, says Klinkhammer. Reusable KEGs offer breweries greater options regarding volumes and branding potential and those made of stainless steel don‘t influence the flavour of the beer they contain. This is a complete contrast to plastic, from which substances can generally leach into the environment and have quite harmful effects.
On top of this, stainless steel KEGs are much more ecological and economical. They can be used for up to 30 years and their average of 4 cycles per year significantly cuts down CO² emissions, compared with those generated by the production of new one-way containers. At the same time, they are 100 % recyclable. This means that, taking the scrap value and multiple usage into account, the cost proportion of a 30 litre stainless steel KEG for each dispensed beer, for instance, is around one twentieth of that of a plastic KEG, despite the initially greater outlay.
Klinkhammer: “Fortunately, the trend towards sustainability is becoming increasingly prevalent in the beverages industry. This is a very desirable and ethically very sensible change of attitude to our overall situation, because single-use products are an enormous burden on the environment. This also applies to one-way Kegs, so the ban on one-way plastic products that the EU is now planning may not only affect coffee beakers and plastic forks. Ultimately, it is also the higher quality and reliability of stainless steel KEGs that contributes to demand for them. For example, containers up to 50 litres have to withstand at least 60 bar pressure without bursting to conform to DIN 6647-1. That’s why, right from the outset, many KEGs are fitted with a safety bursting point that opens at 50 bar and releases excess pressure without any risk. There is no such regulation for one-way containers made of plastic.”