Companies including Carlsberg and Coca-Cola Back Plant-Based Bottles for 2023

June 5, 2020
Companies including Carlsberg and Coca-Cola Back Plant-Based Bottles for 2023

Quick summary:

  • Absolut and L’Oréal among brands involved

  • The bottles, made of biodegradable plastic and cardboard, will be the first for carbonated drinks and beer

  • Materials are 100% recyclable and compostable within a year

A group of global brands has announced their support for a project to develop a plant-based drinks bottle by 2023.

Companies including Coca-Cola, Absolut, and Carlsberg are backing the Paper Bottle Project, a joint initiative from bottle manufacturers ALPLA and paper packaging developers, BillerudKorsnäs. Avantium, a company that produces polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a material that is impermeable to gas, is also involved.

According to reports, the 2023 goal remains in place despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and further partners will be announced later in the summer.

“It is a milestone in the development of high-value applications such as specialty bottles,” Marcel Lubben, the managing director of Avantium, said last year. “The Paper Bottle shows how we, together with partners, can use innovation to help shape packaging for a circular and sustainable future.”

Innovating for a Sustainable Future

The bottle produced by PaBoCo – the Plastic Bottle Company – will be 100% recyclable and will decompose entirely within a year, if disposed of in a composter. Normal bottles, alternatively, take hundreds of years to break down.

Thanks to PEF, a plastic made of sugars from plants, PaBoCo’s bottle will be the first of its kind for carbonated drinks, beer, and beauty products. Its use in the bottle is due to its reportedly superior ability to act as a thermal and physical barrier than previous examples of the material.

Reports suggest that it will be possible to separate the PEF – a material that moves beyond the need for fossil fuel-based plastics – from the paper exterior, so that both can be recycled.

Plastic Use Worldwide

300 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually from fossil fuels worldwide, according to reports, thus contributing to climate change as much as to plastic pollution.

Meanwhile, 8 million tonnes of plastic are believed to end up in the ocean each year. However, it is thought that visible trash makes up only 1% of the total of marine litter.

One recent study found 1.9 million pieces of microplastics – i.e. plastics smaller than 5mm – in one square metre in the Mediterranean.  

Photo by Maximilian Bruck on Unsplash