Coca-Cola will trial major change to plastic bottles

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Coca-Cola has indicated its looking to shed its title of the world's worst plastic polluter by adopting a more sustainable approach to the packaging of its drink products.

The soft drink brand will be one of the first companies to trial selling products in a paper bottle as part of its ambitious commitment to be entirely zero waste by 2030, BBC reported.

Coca-Cola, as well as vodka brand Absolut and beer brand Carlsberg, will soon trial paper bottles with an extra-strong paper shell and thin plastic liner.

Photo of Coke bottles on a shelf.
Coca-Cola will trial paper bottles on a fruit juice product in the coming months. Source: Getty Images

The Danish manufacturer of the bottles, Paper Bottle Company – also known as Paboco, will host the Coca Cola trial with its fruit drink, AdeZ, in Hungary starting in June.

Two thousand bottles will be distributed initially by a local retail chain, according to the publication.

The same number of paper bottles will be trialled by Absolut in the UK and Sweden, while a location on Carlsberg's trial has yet to be announced.

The paper bottles have been built using a single piece of fibre-based material, which is how it is able to remain rigid.

"That's part of the secret really," Michael Michelsen, the firm's commercial manager, said.

Pictured is the recyclable paper bottle Coca-Cola is trialling in Hungary as it moves to a more sustainable strategy.
This recyclable bottle will be used in Coca-Cola's trial in Hungary. Source: Coca-Cola

He said using a single piece of material rather than joining several together helped the bonds between fibres remain robust.

"With a clever combination of product design and the strong fibre blend, that's what makes it really possible to not break under pressure."

To keep the paper from being affected by the carbonated beverages, a layer of plant-based coating will be used on the inside of the bottles.

Development of an all-paper screw top cap is still under way.

Coca-Cola eyes a plastic-free future

The prototype, while more sustainable than current bottles, still relies on a layer of plastic for its structure which is what Coca-Cola hopes to avoid in the future.

“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," Stijn Franssen – Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Research and Development (R&D) Packaging Innovation Manager at Coca‑Cola – said.

"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.

“This is all part of our journey to find the most sustainable packaging solutions for people to enjoy our drinks in a way that is right for them, and that is right for our planet."

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