Coca-Cola Is Working to Develop a Paper Bottle

A successful creation would be a breakthrough in packaging.

November 10, 2020

ATLANTA—Beverage giant Coca-Cola is partnering with Danish startup Paboco, (short for The Paper Bottle Company) to develop a 100% paper bottle, the company announced.

The two companies have produced a first-generation prototype featuring a paper shell and a 100% recycled plastic closure and liner inside. The next step is creating a paper bottle without the plastic liner. Coca-Cola is conducting extensive lab testing to assess how the paper bottle performs, holds up and protects its contents in various scenarios.

“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,” said Stijn Franssen, R&D packaging innovation manager, Coca-Cola EMEA. “A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities.

“We also reflect on how our consumers will react to this paper bottle,” he said. “Topics like when and where it could be sold and how it can be recycled are all considered. 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.”

Paboco believes paper bottles have potential for use with both sparkling and still beverages, plus other consumer goods—such as cosmetics—that must meet the same stringent safety and quality standards as food and beverage packaging.

“We’re focused on several different development areas, which all tie back to our vision of creating a 100% recyclable and bio-based bottle,” said Michael Michelsen, business development manager, Paboco, “This has potential to be a real breakthrough in circularity for the industry, unearthing huge potential in how packaging is designed, produced and used by consumers.”

The paper bottle concept supports The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste sustainable packaging goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every bottle or can sold by 2030. As reported in the NACS Daily, Paboco and Coca-Cola’s paper bottle initiative isn’t the first of its kind. Last year, Carlsberg, a Danish brewing company, also announced it would be developing a paper bottle.

The NACS Crack the Code Experience, which runs through December 4, offers a deep dive look into incorporating sustainability into c-store operations. Be sure not to miss the education session “Profiting from Sustainability,” for more information regarding this trend and how it can grow your consumer base. Register now and get access to these sessions, along with 50+ education sessions, virtual showrooms and online networking within the convenience and fuel retailing industries.