CARLSBERG
Paper beer bottle with PEF liner / Market tests in eight European countries
The world’s third-largest brewery group is taking another step towards the market launch of its Fibre Bottle. Originally introduced in 2015, Carlsberg is testing the container with the inner liner made of polyethylene furanoate (PEF) and an outer layer of cellulose, in eight European countries this summer. Around 8,000 bottles are to be distributed at various festivals over the next few weeks.

Fibre Bottle: Pulp bottle with PEF liner (Photo: Carlsberg)

The PEF for the inner liner, which is supposed to protect the carbonated beer from becoming stale, comes from biopolymer specialist Avantium (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.avantium.com). The Dutch company had signed an offtake agreement with Carlsberg not very long ago (see Plasteurope.com of 04.07.2022). The outer shell of the bottle is made of wood fibres; according to Carlsberg, the fibres offer an insulating effect, keeping the beer cooler for longer compared to cans or glass bottles.

The supplier of the bottles is Paboco (Paper Bottle Company, Slangerup, Denmark; www.paboco.com) – a joint venture founded in 2019 by paper packaging specialist BillerudKorsnäs with Austrian packaging manufacturer Alpla (Hard; www.alpla.com).

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Carlsberg’s Fibre Bottle fits seamlessly into the development projects of several beverage companies that have also announced pulp-based bottles. Coca-Cola had conducted market tests with Paboco paper bottles in Hungary last year (see Plasteurope.com of 24.02.2021), which, however, had a liner made of recycled PET. In contrast, the world’s largest spirits company Bacardi relies on liners made of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA; Nodax) from Danimer Scientific (Bainbridge, Georgia, USA; www.danimerscientific.com – see Plasteurope.com of 19.11.2020) for its paper bottles.

The body of the Carlsberg beer bottle is bio-based due to its PEF/paper combination, with the closure still being the exception. Paboco, Carlsberg, and other unnamed partners are therefore researching “alternative fibre-based bottle closures”, with a solution expected in 2023. No further details on the research have been provided.

Carlsberg highlights the recyclability of the new bottles, which should help the group further reduce its carbon footprint. What may certainly be true on paper is unfortunately not always easy in practice due to the local recycling infrastructure: composite packaging made of paper/polymer hybrids has long been criticised for being difficult or impossible to recycle via dual systems. The brewery group declined to comment on when the Fibre Bottle will be launched on a large scale. The container is intended to complement the existing packaging mix of glass bottles and cans, and not to replace them.
22.08.2022 Plasteurope.com [250983-0]
Published on 22.08.2022
Carlsberg: Papier-Bierflasche mit PEF-LinerGerman version of this article...

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