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Carlsberg releases two prototypes for paper beer bottle


October 15, 2019
By P&PC Staff

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Carlsberg's paper bottle prototype

Carlsberg Group is working on what it says is the world’s first “paper” beer bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fibres.

Carlsberg has unveiled two new research prototypes of its 100 per cent bio-based and fully recyclable Green Fibre Bottle, which are the first “paper bottles” to contain beer. Carlsberg also announced it has been joined by other global companies to develop sustainable packaging through the advancement of paper bottle technology.

These developments are a continuation of Carlsberg’s 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.

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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 a 100 per cent bio-based bottle without polymers.

“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,” says Myriam Shingleton, vice-president group development at Carlsberg Group. “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. 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 the Green Fibre Bottle in 2015 alongside 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 just launched by Paboco.

“Partnerships such as these, ones that are united by a desire to create sustainable innovations, are the best way to bring about real change,” says Shingleton. “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.”

In 2018, Carlsberg launched a number of packaging innovations including recycled shrink film, greener label ink and the Snap Pack, which replaces the plastic wrapping around its six-packs with a solution that instead glues cans together.