Carlsberg Develops Recyclable Paper Bottle

The innovative packaging is a response to consumer interest in sustainability.

October 15, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Danish brewing giant Carlsberg has created two prototypes of a sustainable, bio-based, fully recyclable beer bottle called the "Green Fibre Bottle," reports

Both examples of the new bottle are made from sustainably sourced wood fibers. One is lined with a recycled polyethylene terephthalate polymer film barrier, and the other contains a 100% bio-based polyethylene furanoate polymer film barrier.

Carlsberg has been working to create a recyclable bottle since 2015. "While we are not completely there yet, the two prototypes are an important step toward realizing our ultimate ambition of bringing this breakthrough to market," said Myriam Shingleton, vice president of group development at Carlsberg.

The development of a durable paper bottle would be a big change for the beverage industry, though Carlsberg's new packaging is still in the development stage and won’t be ready to release for several years. The prototypes are being tested, but there is no specification as to whether that means in limited markets or internally.

Carlsberg’s efforts have created a paper bottle company named Paboco, which is attracting the interest of other consumer packaged goods companies that could use a similar product. Coca-Cola and Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut have become a part of the "paper bottle community," an effort launched by Paboco to bring together experts to work on sustainable packaging.

Last year, Carlsberg announced it would ditch the plastic rings that connect its multi-packs of its beer and replace them with glue, a move that could reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1,200 metric tons a year. This Snap Pack technology reduces the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs by up to 76%. Carlsberg also switched the inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability.

Carlsberg hopes to have zero carbon emissions at its breweries and a 30% reduction in its full-value-chain carbon footprint by 2030. Earlier this year, the company released a sustainability report showing that it was able to improve energy efficiency and reduce relative carbon emissions across operations by 5% last year. Since 2015, the company said it has reduced overall carbon levels by a fifth and lowered the use of coal as a power source by 78%.