Carlsberg have created the world's first paper beer bottle

Danish beer maker Carlsberg is on a mission to make drinking beer better for the environment. They’ve created the world’s first paper beer bottle, made from sustainably-sourced and fully recyclable wood fibres.

Carlsberg unveiled designs for its Green Fibre Bottle at the C40 Mayor Summit in Copenhagen in October, as part of their sustainability program, Together Towards Zero. The program is committed to ending carbon emissions at its breweries and making a 30% reduction in its end-to-end carbon footprint by 2030.

Carlsberg released two new prototypes for their Green Fibre Bottle, each made from sustainable and recyclable wood fibres with an inner coating to allow the bottles to hold beer. One prototype uses a thin layer of recyclable PET plastic, while the other uses a 100% bio-based PEF polymer film made from biodegradable sources. The company continues to test their paper beer bottles as they seek to achieve their ultimate goal of creating a 100% organic, bio-based bottle without polymers.

Myriam Shingleton, Vice-President Group Development at Carlsberg Group, said: “While we are not completely there yet, the two prototypes are an important step towards realising our ultimate ambition of bringing this breakthrough to market. Innovation takes time and we will continue to collaborate with leading experts in order to overcome remaining technical challenges, just as we did with our plastic-reducing Snap Pack [plastic-free beer can packaging].”

Carlsberg first fully recyclable beer bottle
Image: Carlsberg Group

The Danish brewer has been working on the new Green Fibre Beer Bottle since 2015 with tech firm ecoXpac and post-doctoral researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, and worked with packaging company BillerudKorsnäs to produce the test bottles. It’s the latest innovation from Carlsberg, after improving the design of their canned six-packs last year. They now glue the beer cans together, instead of using the plastic rings once used to hold their canned six-packs.

Carlsberg is one of a number of brands who have joined Paboco, a ‘paper bottle community’, announced at the C40 World Mayor Summit in Copenhagen. Major companies including the Coca-Cola Company, L’Oréal and The Absolut Company, have joined forces and are working together to develop bottles made out of paper fibres.

Other major brands developing greener packaging include Olay, who are beginning to test refillable moisturiser containers, and Unilever, who recently launched bamboo toothbrushes and plastic bottle-free shampoo bars.

“Partnerships such as these, ones that are united by a desire to create sustainable innovations, are the best way to bring about real change,” Shingleton said.

At Trafalgar, we also believe in the power of partnerships to ignite change. Through the TreadRight Foundation, a non-profit organisation created by our parent company, The Travel Corporation, we’ve supported more than 50 sustainable tourism projects around the world.

We now want to show you that sustainability is simpler than you think. Even small changes in the way you live and travel can have a lasting impact on the world tomorrow. You may not be able to create the world’s first paper beer bottle like Carlsberg, but you can make the choice to reduce plastic packaging in your life. Start by making small changes:

  • Avoid single-use plastics like coffee cups, razors, cutlery, plates, straws and food containers.
  • Bring your own canvas bags when you go shopping and leave your fruit and vegetables unbagged at the market.
  • Cut down on plastic by making your own cleaning supplies or using eco-friendly bathroom products like shampoo bars, toothpaste tabs and bamboo toothbrushes. 
  • Instead of buying fast, synthetic fashion with harmful microfibres, choose second-hand clothing or sustainable pieces made from natural materials.

By making changes in your everyday life and partnering with leading sustainable organisations, you can make a difference. Stay tuned to The Good Life blog for more easy, actionable and impactful sustainability tips you can use on your next holiday and in your everyday life.

Carlsberg first paper beer bottle
Image: Carlsberg Group

How are you making small changes to reduce your plastic impact? let us know in the comments below…

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