The Danish brewery giant Carlsberg is working on the development of bottles made from wood fibers. Carlsberg has now presented two prototypes – the “world’s first paper bottles for beer”.
Carlsberg’s ambitious goal is to develop a 100 percent bio-based beer bottle without polymers. Although they have not yet advanced quite so far in Copenhagen, they have managed an important intermediate step with two research prototypes. Both consist of sustainably sourced, recyclable wood fibers with different internal barriers. One prototype uses a thin film of recycled PET polymer, the other a film of 100 percent biobased PEF polymer. It consists of sustainably obtained wood fibers and, according to the brewery, is 100 percent bio-based and completely recyclable. These prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology. Parallel with this, Carlsberg is continuing to search for a solution that will achieve the goal of a 100 percent bio-based bottle without polymers.
The Group also announced that other leading global brand producers have joined the team and are also pursuing the vision of developing sustainable packaging by advancing paper bottle technology.
Myriam Shingleton, Vice President of Group Development at Carlsberg Group, said, “We are still working on innovations for all our packaging formats and are pleased with the progress we have made so far on the green fiber bottle. Although we have not yet fully reached our target, the two prototypes are an important step in achieving our ultimate goal of bringing this breakthrough onto the market. “
Carlsberg started the project of developing a bottle from sustainably sourced wood fibers, the Green Fiber Bottle, in 2015 together with the innovation expert EcoXpac, the packaging company BillerudKorsnäs and postdocs from the Technical University of Denmark, who are supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark. These joint efforts have resulted in the paper bottle company Paboco – a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and the bottle making specialist ALPLA.
Coca-Cola and L’Oréal join paper bottle development network
According to Carlsberg, the company is playing an active role in a “paper bottle community”, which The Coca-Cola Company, The Absolut Company and L’Oréal have also joined and which was initiated by Paboco. The community brings together the world’s leading companies and experts sharing a vision of promoting sustainable packaging and offering high-quality products with lower environmental impact. “It’s all about the team! We are working together along the value creation chain, sharing the risks and agreeing on our vision that the paper bottle will become a reality and fundamentally change this industry forever,” said Gittan Schiöld, Interim CEO of Paboco.
In 2018, Carlsberg introduced a number of packaging innovations to the market, including recycled shrink film, greener label ink and the innovative Snap Pack, which replaces the plastic sleeve around its six-packs with a solution that sticks the cans together instead.