Coca-Cola Announces First-Generation Prototype of Its Recyclable Paper Bottle
Coca-Cola's first-generation paper bottle prototype consists of a paper shell and includes a plastic closure and thin plastic lining made from 100% recyclable PET.
Nov. 4, 2020 - Coca-Cola recently announced that it is working to create a bottle made 100% from paper, which the company says may help it achieve a "World Without Waste."
Coca-Cola's World Without Waste stated goal: "We aim to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030, while also substantially reducing our use of virgin packaging materials, and only using packaging materials that are 100% recyclable."
Coca-Cola said that it is working with Paboco and the three other companies in the Paboco Pioneer Community and is now at the stage of a first-generation prototype of its recyclable paper bottle.
Paboco, based in Slangerup (near Copenhagen), Denmark, got its start in 2019 and is a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.
"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," says Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager at Coca-Cola, who is working on the project. "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."
According to Coca-Cola, 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," Franssen says. "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."
As with other types of food packaging, the paper bottle must adhere to the same high safety and quality standards other food packaging products must meet. Franssen 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.
"We also reflect on how our consumers will react to this paper bottle. Topics like when and where it could be sold and how it can be recycled are all considered," he adds.
Coca-Cola did not say when it expects the new paper bottle to be ready for commercial production.