In a year, Coca-Cola uses around three million metric tons of plastic packaging, much of which isn’t recycled. While the company works to use more recycled material, increase recycling rates, and test new models such as refill stations that rely on reusable bottles, it’s also beginning to test alternative packaging—including a new paper bottle that will roll out for a test run in Europe this summer.
The new bottle is made by Paboco (“Paper Bottle Company”), a Danish startup that has also spent years collaborating with the beer company Carlsberg on a paper bottle. It’s formed out of a single sheet of paper fiber to help make it strong enough to withstand the pressure of the bottling process, with the label printed directly on the bottle itself.
The first version in the pilot has a thin plastic liner to keep the paper dry, but eventually, the bottle will use a liner made from a plant-based material; the cap can be made from paper. The material avoids the carbon footprint of manufacturing plastic from fossil fuels, and the final product will be fully recyclable.
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