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Coca-Cola Explores World of Paper Bottles

It’s part of the company’s “World Without Waste” vision.




Coca-Cola Explores World of Paper Bottles

The Coca-Cola company is developing a bottle made from 100% paper – a packaging technology that the company hopes will help it meet its “World Without Waste” vision.

From its laboratory in Brussels, the company is working on the first-generation prototype with sustainable bottling company Paboco. The company recently released a short video that provided a glimpse inside the lab and of the paper bottle.

“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. A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities, and we are convinced that paper packaging has a role to play in the future,” said Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager at Coca-Cola, who is working on the project.

A lot of work still must be done to achieve this vision of a recyclable paper bottle. The first-generation paper bottle still contains some plastic.

“This first-generation paper bottle prototype still consists of a paper shell with a plastic closure and a plastic liner inside. The plastic we use is made from 100% recycled plastic that can be recycled again after use. But our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any paper. The next step is to find a solution to create a bottle without the plastic liner,” Stijn said.

Testing continues

Just like other types of packaging, a paper bottle of the future must adhere to the same high safety and quality standards for food packaging that currently apply. Stijn and this team are putting the bottle through comprehensive testing in the lab to see how it performs in the refrigerator, how strong it is, and how well it protects the drinks inside.


“We also reflect on how our consumers will react to this paper bottle. Topics like when and where it could be sold and how it can be recycled are all considered. The bottle must be explored from every perspective to ensure that we make the bottle the best it can be,” he said.

He is optimistic that future technological solutions will help achieve the vision of a paper bottle that’s recyclable as paper – a type of packaging technology that can be part of Coca-Cola’s packaging and portfolio mix, and which could be used for a wide range of beverages.

“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,” said Stijn.

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about packaging trends and design, he covers science, industrial design, quality control, imaging, metalworking, and all-things manufacturing for industries that range from aerospace to the microscopic. He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).

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