Carlsberg Group is on a journey to create the world’s first “paper” beer bottle that is both 100 percent bio-based and fully recyclable. The photo above is one of its two new Green Fiber Bottle research prototypes that are made from sustainably-sourced wood fiber and have an inner barrier to allow the bottles to contain beer.
One prototype uses a thin recycled PET polymer film barrier, and the other a 100 percent bio-based PEF polymer film barrier. These prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology as Carlsberg seeks a solution to achieve its ultimate ambition of a 100 percent bio-based bottle without polymers.
“While we are not completely there yet, the two prototypes are an important step towards realizing our ultimate ambition of bringing this breakthrough to market,” said Myriam Shingleton, VP group development at Carlsberg Group. “Innovation takes time, and we will continue to collaborate with leading experts in order to overcome remaining technical challenges, just as we did with our plastic-reducing Snap Pack.”
Carlsberg’s focus on sustainable packaging innovations is not new. In 2018, the Danish brewer launched a number of packaging innovations including recycled shrink film, greener label ink and the innovative Snap Pack, which replaces the plastic wrapping around its six-packs with a solution that instead glues cans together.
New partners onboard
Carlsberg kicked off the project to develop a bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fibers, the Green Fibre Bottle, in 2015 alongside innovation experts ecoXpac, packaging company BillerudKorsnäs and post-doctoral researchers from the Danish Technical University, supported by Innovation Fund Denmark. These combined efforts have resulted in the emergence of Paboco — the Paper Bottle Co. — a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.
Carlsberg will now be joined by The Coca-Cola Co., The Absolut Co. and L’Oréal in a paper bottle community — launched today by Paboco. The community unites leading global companies and experts with the vision of advancing sustainable packaging, offering high-quality products while reducing their environmental impact.
“We are collaborating across the value chain, sharing the risks and are united in our vision that the paper bottle will become a reality and fundamentally change this industry for good,” said Gittan Schiöld, interim CEO of Paboco.
These developments are a continuation of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging innovation journey and a key part of its sustainability program. Together Towards ZERO, including its commitment to zero carbon emissions at its breweries and a 30 percent reduction in its full value chain carbon footprint by 2030.