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Carlsberg presses ahead with bio-based beer bottle development.

Carlsberg is pushing ahead with its bio-based beer bottle. © Carlsberg.

“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.”

Drinks giant Carlsberg Group has unveiled two new research prototypes of its bio-based beer bottle and has said that it is working with more partners, including renewable chemicals company Avantium and cosmetics giant L’Oreal, to develop its innovation called ‘Green Fibre Bottle’.

According to Carlsberg, 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% bio-based PEF polymer film barrier provided by Avantium.

It is possible to fully recycle the paper bottle by separating the paper and PEF, according Avantium (@Avantium).  By separation, each layer becomes a mono-material returned to the recycling stream. Development work of the paper bottle with the PEF layer is in progress.

These prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology as Carlsberg (@carlsberg) seeks a solution to achieve its ultimate ambition of what it calls a “100% bio-based bottle without polymers”.

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.”

Avantium Renewable Polymers Managing Director Marcel Lubben said: “Participating in the Paper Bottle Project and collaborating with like-minded companies within the Paboco Pioneer Community – from bottle manufacturers to consumer brands – on developing new sustainable packaging material is a great opportunity for Avantium. It is a milestone in the development of high-value applications such as specialty bottles.

“The Paper Bottle shows how we, together with partners, can use innovation to help shape packaging for a circular and sustainable future.”

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 drinks firm Coca-Cola Company, global spirits company The Absolut Company and L’Oréal in a paper bottle community – launched recently 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, according to Carlsberg.

In a statement, Avantium said it will be working with the other companies involved in Paboco to help build experience and “look to 2020 to start controlled testing” on the bottle.

This is not the only sustainable packaging innovation that Carlsberg is pressing ahead with. In 2018, the Danish brewer launched a number of packaging innovations including recycled shrink film, greener label ink and its ‘Snack Pack’, which replaces the plastic wrapping around its six-packs with a solution that instead glues cans together.


If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the below bioeconomy stories.

Read: Carlsberg strengthens eco credentials with biogas-powered brewery.

Read: Carlsberg abandons plastic rings for recyclable glue among range of green initiatives.

Read: Budweiser shoots and scores with recycled beer cups and turns them into football pitch in Russia.

Read: Creating a greener brew for a sustainable future.

Read: European Commission urges industry to do more to boost recycled plastics market.

Read: Five very different ways that can help tackle the global plastic crisis.

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