K3® – cardboard-plastic combinations

With our cardboard-plastic combinations, called K3® packaging, a cardboard wrap is applied to plastic packaging – such as a cup, tub, or bottle. K3® is becoming an increasingly popular packaging solution, and rightly so. After all, this packaging is not only convenient and features an appealing look – its sustainability characteristics are extremely attractive, too.

Sustainable materials

The materials used (unprinted PP cup + cardboard) are 100 percent recyclable when separated and disposed of by the consumer; the cardboard wrap can be made from recycled cardboard if necessary. Greiner Packaging will use r-PET or r-PO for its packaging as soon as these materials are approved for food applications. Cardboard-plastic combinations perform extremely well when taking the entire life cycle of packaging into consideration in general: They require 32.7 percent less plastic material, use up to 80 percent recycled cardboard, and have a 17 percent better carbon footprint – compared to packaging made entirely of plastic (reference value: cup: 95 mm diameter, 500 ml filling volume, direct printed, thermoformed).

Easy recyclability

To make it even easier for consumers to separate the cardboard and plastic, Greiner Packaging teamed up with Offsetdruckerei Schwarzach to develop a new tear-off system, so recycling is even more intuitive now. This means the packaging consists of just two parts: an unprinted, white or transparent plastic cup, along with a cardboard wrap – which, if necessary, can also be made of grass paper. If the wrap and cup still aren’t properly separated, the latest technologies such as digital watermarks can ensure that the individual components of the cup are correctly detected in the waste sorting plant and assigned to the appropriate recycling stream.

Product Finder

Click through an excerpt of our cardboard-plastic combinations.

Look & Feel

  • Enhanced shelf impact: K3® cups attract attention! The cardboard wrap signifies a completely new approach to food packaging—an approach that will set you apart from your competitors.
  • Unique shapes and designs: Full-cup coverage and a wrap that can be printed with up to six (6) colors on both sides, delivering full 360° design capability.
  • Aluminum lamination, embossing and hot-stamping possibilities: Add a premium look and feel to your products.
  • An elegant, inviting feel: Thanks to the cardboard wrap, K3® cups are comfortable to hold and add a premium ecological touch to your packaging.
  • Enhanced insulating properties: Burnt fingers are now a thing of the past. The cardboard wrap provides a particularly pleasant feel—even if the cup contains hot content.
  • Multipacks: K3® cups are also available as multipacks

Consumer Engagement

  • Maximized marketing opportunities: Engage your customers with stickers or promotions on the inside of the cardboard wrap, display printed (children’s) games and additional product information, or even trigger the purchase impulse with printed instant win codes on the wrap’s interior. High-quality printing methods allow for sophisticated design variations.
  • Windowed and shortened wraps for increased product visibility: Give your customers a peek at what’s inside.
  • Microwaveable and freezable: K3® cups meet your customers’ demands for convenience and are easily integrated into their daily routine.


  • Reduced CO2 emissions thanks to reduced plastic content: Compared to conventional packaging, the cup’s plastic content can be decreased by up to 50%, which significantly contributes to lowering CO2 emissions during production.
  • High stability thanks to cardboard wrap: Even with a reduced plastic content, the cardboard wrap secures high stability of the cup.
  • Responsible resource consumption: Reduced plastic content combined with the use of many renewable raw materials such as recycled cardboard and virgin fiber-based cardboard. 100% protection from light when using recycled cardboard.
  • Easy separation of cardboard and plastic: The two components can be easily recycled separately thanks to the innovative zip-off strip (perforations in the cardboard wrap). An important asset for environmentally conscious consumers!
  • Barrier properties: With barrier technologies, Greiner Packaging has succeeded in bringing food shelf life for cups to a whole new level.

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