To reduce its carbon footprint, the Danish beer producer Carlsberg is working on an alternative to replace the glass beer bottles with a paper version, with a thin layer of plastic on the inside. The extensive tests will start next year.
Carlsberg has been looking for an alternative to glass beer bottles for some time, although glass recycling is also possible. However, the transport of containers with glass bottles requires a lot of energy due to the high weight. Four years ago, Carlsberg convinced the Danish packaging specialist BillerudKorsnäs and the bottle manufacturer Alpha from Austria to set up the joint venture Paboco (Paper Bottle Company) to develop a paper bottle. Three other international producers also support this joint venture: Coca-Cola (soft drinks), Absolut (vodka) and L’Oréal (cosmetics).
Inner layer in plastic
Plastic is required for the lining on the inside of the paper bottle. The Dutch producer of bioplastic Avantium will join Paboco. Two options for the inner layer are on the table: either a layer of recycled polymers (PET) to separate the liquids from the paper fibers, or a layer of vegetable polymers (PEF) from Avantium. As a new partner in the joint venture, Avantium hopes that the tests will show that PEF is the solution. “It is important to keep the carbonation of the beer inside the bottle and the oxygen in the air outside. That also works with PET or glass, but PEF has even better properties so you only need a very thin layer of it. PEF is also more resistant to heat than PET, ”says Caroline van Reedt Dortland of Avantium. After the recent presentation of a PEF and a PET prototype, the first tests will start in 2020.
© Photo Carlsberg