Thanks to Cinemark’s reusable popcorn bucket, film fans in South America can now watch their favourite flicks and do their bit to reduce landfill.

How to keep customers coming back to your brand, while at the same time promoting your environmental credentials?

That’s the question facing 21st century businesses – and a US movie theatre chain has come up with an answer.

Image courtesy of Verstraete.


The Chilean branch of Cinemark is rewarding its loyal customers with a refillable popcorn bucket.

“Our customers believe popcorn is a major part of their cinema experience,” says concession manager Loreto Boitano. “It is an essential element of a cinema visit and it helps them enjoy the film.

“A lot of our customers are frequent cinema visitors and their loyalty deserves to be rewarded. That’s where our idea of reusable popcorn packaging came from – when they next visit, our customers can simply refill their IML bucket.”

 Why IML is the leader of the pack

Verstraete IML used in-mould labelling (IML) technology to produce the peelable label in collaboration with packaging manufacturer Fosko.

In addition to being good for the environment, IML creates high-resolution images, and strong and hygienic packaging that is cheaper to produce.

Image By Serhii Bobyk/


“Our former popcorn packaging was made from cardboard and could not be reused after a film, so we started looking for a more sustainable packaging alternative,” explained Boitano. “Our new popcorn bucket also needed to provide added value to our customers.”

Reusable popcorn bucket a hit with film fans

Cinemark says the promotion has produced immediate sales results and helps long-term customer retention.

The buckets are refillable up to three times in the cinema. Afterwards, customers can give their tubs a new lease of life at home as storage containers.

“One of the best features of our new plastic IML packaging is that it’s environmentally friendly,” says Boitano. “It complies with legislation that promotes recycling and extended producer responsibility, and it’s a so-called ‘3R’ product − 100% reducible, reusable and recyclable.

Image by ktsdesign/


“Some months, customers refill more buckets than they buy, which is the best evidence that they love and value our reusable packaging and the refill concept.”

Read the latest global packaging news and analysis in Packaging & Converting Intelligence.

In addition, read about the drinks packaging market in Beverage Packaging Innovation.

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