During the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Carlsberg Group today issued an update on its journey to create the Green Fibre Bottle, the world’s first "paper bottle" for beer.
Made from sustainably sourced wood fibres, it is both 100% bio-based and fully recyclable. The Group also announced it has been joined by other leading global companies that are united in their vision to develop sustainable packaging through the advancement of paper bottle technology.
These developments are a continuation of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging innovation journey and a key part of its sustainability programme Together Towards ZERO, including its commitment to ZERO carbon emissions at its breweries and a 30% reduction in its full-value-chain carbon footprint by 2030.
Carlsberg has unveiled two new research prototypes of the Green Fibre Bottle. Both are made from sustainably sourced wood fibres, 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. These prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology as Carlsberg seeks a solution to achieving its ultimate ambition of 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.”
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 Technical University of Denmark, supported by Innovation Fund Denmark. The 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 The Coca-Cola Company, The Absolut Company and L’Oréal in a paper bottle community – launched today by Paboco®. The community unites leading global companies and experts with the vision of advancing sustainable packaging, offering high-quality products with reduced environmental impact.
Myriam Shingleton continues: “The work with our partners since 2015 on the Green Fibre Bottle illustrates that this kind of innovation can happen when we work together. We’re delighted that other like-minded companies have now joined us as part of Paboco’s paper bottle community. Partnerships such as these, ones that are united by a desire to create sustainable innovations, are the best way to bring about real change.”
“We’re driven by our constant pursuit of better, to create more sustainable packaging solutions that help people to live more sustainable lives. Sometimes that means completely rethinking how things are done – pushing the boundaries of existing technologies and overcoming technical challenges as they present themselves.”
Gittan Schiöld, interim CEO of Paboco® said: “It is all about the team! We are collaborating across the value chain, sharing the risks and are united in our vision that the paper bottle will become a reality and fundamentally change this industry for good.”
Carlsberg’s focus on sustainable packaging innovations is not new. In 2018, the Danish brewer launched a number of packaging innovations, including recycled shrink film, greener label ink and the innovative Snap Pack, which replaces the plastic wrapping around its six-packs with a solution that instead glues the cans together.
Carlsberg’s packaging improvements are part of its long-standing process of betterment and innovation, including developing scientific breakthroughs such as pure yeast and the pH scale.