Carlsberg Group is trying to create the world’s first ‘paper’ beer bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fibres that is both 100 per cent bio-based and fully recyclable.
Carlsberg has unveiled two new research prototypes of its Green Fibre Bottle, which are the first ‘paper bottles’ to contain beer. Carlsberg also announced it has been joined by other leading global companies who are united in their vision of developing sustainable packaging through the advancement of paper bottle technology.
These developments are a continuation of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging innovation journey and a key part of its sustainability programme, Together Towards Zero, including its commitment to Zero carbon emissions at its breweries and a 30 per cent reduction in its full value chain carbon footprint by 2030.
Two new prototypes
The two new research prototypes are made from sustainably-sourced wood fibre, are fully recyclable 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 per cent bio-based PEF polymer film barrier. These prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology as Carlsberg seeks a solution to achieve their ultimate ambition of a 100 per cent bio-based bottle without polymers.
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Myriam Shingleton, Vice President Group Development at Carlsberg Group, said: “We continue to innovate across all our packaging formats, and we are pleased with the progress we’ve made on the Green Fibre Bottle so far. While we are not completely there yet, the two prototypes are an important step towards realising our ultimate ambition of bringing this breakthrough to market. 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.”
New partners onboard
Carlsberg kicked off the project to develop a bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fibres, 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 Company – a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.
Carlsberg will now be joined by The Coca-Cola Company, The Absolut Company 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.
Myriam Shingleton continued: “The work with our partners since 2015 on the Green Fibre Bottle illustrates that this kind of innovation can happen when we work together. We’re delighted that other like-minded companies have now joined us as part of Paboco’s paper bottle community. Partnerships such as these, ones that are united by a desire to create sustainable innovations, are the best way to bring about real change.”
“We’re driven by our constant pursuit of better, to create more sustainable packaging solutions that help people to live more sustainable lives. Sometimes that means completely rethinking how things are done – pushing the boundaries of existing technologies and overcoming technical challenges as they present themselves.”
Gittan Schiöld, interim CEO of Paboco said: “It is all about the team! 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.”
A constant pursuit of better
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.
Carlsberg’s packaging improvements are part of its long-standing progress of betterment and innovation, including developing scientific breakthroughs such as pure yeast and the pH scale.