Coca-Cola to bring paper bottle prototype to “critical testing phase” in Hungary
16 Feb 2021 --- Coca-Cola in Europe is moving its paper bottle prototype to the “critical consumer testing phase” in Hungary in Q2 this year.
The FMCG company will trial 2,000 paper bottles in 250 mL formats with its plant-based drink AdeZ via one of Hungary’s fast-growing online grocery retailers, Kifli.
The new packaging format will be trialed to measure packaging performance and customer feedback, as the prototype is still in development.
“We are moving in uncharted territory. We have to invent the technical solutions as we go along,” says Stijn Franssen, Coca‑Cola’s EMEA R&D packaging innovation manager.
The bottle’s design
The current prototype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable plastic lining and cap. However, the broader goal is to eventually get rid of the plastic liner.
Ultimately, the project aims to create 100 percent recyclable bottles made of sustainably sourced wood with a bio-based material barrier.
The bottles should be suitable for liquid goods, such as carbonated and still drinks, but also beauty products.
The prototype is being developed in partnership with scientists at Coca‑Cola’s Brussels R&D laboratories and The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco). Carlsberg, L’Oréal, The Absolut Company and Avantium are also involved.
PackagingInsights interviewed Franssen last October when the pilot project was first announced. In November, Paboco’s business development manager shared more about the “stepwise” technical approach to creating the prototype.
Paboco was also the driving force behind Absolut Vodka’s paper bottle launch in the UK and Sweden earlier this month.
A World Without Waste?
Charged with being one of the top global polluting FMCG companies, Coca-Cola has set ambitious sustainable packaging goals as part of its World Without Waste strategy.
The company has committed to collect a bottle or can for each one that it sells by 2030, with 100 percent recyclability and zero waste. Coca-Cola European Partners further announced ambitions to become a net-zero carbon business by 2040 last December.
As part of the World Without Waste strategy, Coca-Cola launched a 13.2 oz “sippable” bottle made from 100 percent recycled PET (rPET), excluding the cap and label, in US-based plastic reduction strides.
Other Europe-based initiatives include paperboard multipack rings and recycling reward apps.
By Anni Schleicher
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