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article imageCoca-Cola to launch trial of paper bottles this summer

By Karen Graham     Feb 12, 2021 in Business
Coca-Cola will be testing a prototype paper bottle in Hungary this summer as part of a longer-term bid to eliminate plastic from its packaging entirely. A total of 2,000 paper bottles of Coca-Cola's fruit drink Adez will be distributed online.
The Paper Bottle Company, or Paboco, is the Danish firm behind the development of the paper-based container. Paboco was formed in 2019 as a result of a collaboration between the Danish company EcoXpac, the Carlsberg Group, and the Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs.
The group of companies initially started working together in 2015 with the goal of developing a fully sustainable paper bottle that can hold liquids such as carbonated beverages and beauty products. In 2019, Paboco was a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturer Alpla.
Michael Michelsen, the firm's commercial manager, says the bottles are formed out of a single piece of paper-fiber-based material to give them strength, reports the BBC. "That's part of the secret really," he explained, adding that molding a single object - rather than relying on joins - ensured the bonds between the fibers stayed robust.
Coca-Cola EU its paper bottle prototype to consumers. 2 000 bottles of our plant-based Adez drink wi...
Coca-Cola EU its paper bottle prototype to consumers. 2,000 bottles of our plant-based Adez drink will be offered to consumers in one of Hungary’s leading grocery retailers.
Coca-Cola EU Dialogue
The paper bottle features sustainably sourced wood fibers as the external barrier. This outer layer is fully recyclable. But the magic of this product involves the inner layer. Not only does the internal layer have to be capable of withstanding the forces exerted by fizzy drinks - such as cola and beer - which are bottled under pressure, but it too has to be recyclable.
The Carlsberg Group showed off two prototype bottles at the recent C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. One of the prototypes has a thin recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer film barrier while the other uses a 100% bio-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymer film barrier, according to Carlsberg. Both inner linings are recyclable.
PEF is a 100 percent recyclable, bio-based polymer produced using renewable raw materials (sugars) derived from plants. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in fibers for clothing, as well as containers for liquids and foods.
Coca-Cola will be using the bio-based polymer, made from plants as its internal barrier, and it will have a plastic cap. "It's going to be a bio-based barrier, that's really something minimal, that keeps that food safe, that keeps the product safe at the same time," Mr. Michelsen said.
In a statement, Coca-Cola Europe’s Daniela Zahariea said: "The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle. People expect Coca‑Cola to develop and bring to market new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging. That’s why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first-in-market trial."
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