Products of Change


Tue 19 Jan 2021 | by Michelle Urquhart

Paper bottles will soon be reality

Coca-Cola is part of the Paper Bottle Project, researching developing a paper bottle that can be recycled like any other paper. Coca-Cola - along with Carlsberg, L’Oreal and Absolut - is working with Danish startup, Paboco (a joint venture between Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla) to develop a 100% paper bottle. Coca-Cola unveiled its first paper prototype in November last year. “Our vision is to create a paper bottle than can be recycled like any other type of paper, and this prototype is the first step on the way to achieving this. A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities, and we are convinced that paper packaging has a role to play in the future,” says Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D packaging innovation manager at Coca-Cola, who is working on the project. A lot of work still must be done to achieve this vision of a recyclable paper bottle. The first-generation paper bottle still contains some plastic. “This first-generation paper bottle prototype still consists of a paper shell with a plastic closure and a plastic liner inside. The plastic we use is made from 100% recycled plastic that can be recycled again after use. But our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any paper. The next step is to find a solution to create a bottle without the plastic liner,” Stijn says. Just like other types of packaging, a paper bottle of the future must adhere to the same high safety and quality standards for food packaging that currently apply. Stijn and this team are putting the bottle through comprehensive testing in the lab to see how it performs in the refrigerator, how strong it is, and how well it protects the drinks inside.