Probably The Best Paper Bottle in the world: Carlsberg announces unveils eye-catching sustainable packaging pilot

Carlsberg Group has announced the largest pilot to date of its sustainable Fiber Bottle, promising to put 8,000 bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottles into the hands of consumers for the first time in eight key European markets.

The trial will see the bottles made available in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, Poland, Germany, and France, with customers given the chance to experience the bottles at select festivals and flagship events, as well as through targeted product samplings. .

The plant-based PEF polymer lining, which has been developed by Carlsberg’s partner Avantium helps to keep the products both fresh and fizzy. The outer shell of the bottle, produced by the packaging manufacturer The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco), consists of sustainably-sourced wood fiber and is also bio-based.

The shell has the added benefit of insulative properties, which can help keep beer colder for longer, compared to cans or glass bottles, Carlsberg said.

“We are delighted to bring our new Fiber Bottle into the hands of consumers, allowing them to experience it for themselves,” said Stephane Munch, vice president of group development at Carlsberg. “This pilot will serve a greater purpose in testing the production, performance and recycling of this product at scale.

“Identifying and producing PEF, as a competent functional barrier for beer, has been one of our greatest challenges – so getting good test results, collaborating with suppliers and seeing the bottles being filled on the line is a great achievement.”

The bottle is not yet fully plant-based with current iteration still using a conventional plastic bottle cap. However, Carlsberg indicated that there are plans for an updated Fiber Bottle 3.0 with a sustainable plastic cap, which is expected to be delivered in 2023.

In addition to using more sustainable packaging, the pilot will see the beer giant use barley malt cultivated using fully organic and regenerative farming practices in partnership with its supplier Soufflet. While promising “the same distinctive Carlsberg taste”, the methods used to farm the barley will improve farmland biodiversity, enhance soil health, and increase natural carbon sequestration from the soil in comparison with conventional farming methods, the firm said.

The partnership also represents a major coup for Avantium, which is currently developing a new manufacturing plant near Delfzijl, in the Netherlands that it aims to have up and running from 2024.

Alongside the tie-in with Carlsberg, the company boasts relationships dating back 10 years with Coca-Cola and Danone – both of which are shareholders. Should the pilot plant successful prove, and the company gains further traction among packaging producers and brands in the coming years, Avantium’s plant-based polymers could represent an important breakthrough in the battle against plastic waste, the company said.

Earlier this year, Avantium’s CEO Tom Van Aken told BusinessGreen that the company’s innovative materials could deliver market-wide benefits. “I think it’s very good news for the industry, but also for everyone who is interested in sustainable plastics, that in 2024 a new bio-polymer is coming to the market, and hopefully will come to your supermarket or can be found in your refrigerator, he said. “I’m very pleased that we’ve made this important step to make it a commercial reality.”


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