Coca-Cola joins Paboco Pioneer Community to help advance Paper Bottle innovation

In line with its ambitions to advance sustainable packaging and support a World Without Waste, Coca-Cola is joining a new pioneer community of companies working with Paboco, the paper bottle company. Paboco’s ambition is to create a first-of-its-kind fully bio-based and recyclable paper bottle that can be used for everyday consumer products, such as carbonated and still beverages, beauty products and more.

Danish start-up Paboco began its journey towards developing a world’s first sustainable paper bottle back in 2015 and is now a joint venture between paper packaging material developer BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.

In the next stage of the paper bottle’s development, Coca-Cola will serve as a founding participant of the Paboco Pioneer Community, which brings together leading experts in material, design and technology. Together with other members, Coca-Cola will provide insight, expertise and guidance throughout the R&D process to help overcome technical barriers so the concept can further scale.

“We are excited to be part of the Pioneer Community and to help test and develop this innovation during its continued development. We firmly believe in the power of collaboration and partnership in building commercially-ready sustainable packaging, and we look forward to further exploring and helping advance the great innovations that Paboco is driving,” says Stijn Franssen, Research and Development Manager, Coca-Cola.

Today, the first-generation paper bottle is using renewable paper to build strength and structure, supported by an inner layer solution unique for each product, making it possible to recycle the bottle by separating the paper and inner layer. Alongside the scaling of the production technology, the next step is the transition to a fully circular bottle solution, including a bio-based inner layer, enhancing recycling of the paper fibres and degrading harmlessly if accidentally put in nature.

In 2018, Coca-Cola set out a series of global ambitions to help achieve a World Without Waste. These include a goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one it sells by 2030, and to produce packaging with an average minimum 50% recycled or renewable content by 2030. Coca-Cola has also committed to ensuring all its packaging worldwide is 100% recyclable by 2025.

“We are collaborating across the value chain and are united in our vision that the Paper Bottle will become a reality and help further change this industry for good,” says Mrs. Gittan Schiöld, interim CEO of Paboco.

Coca-Cola in Western Europe has recently announced a further series of commitments and created a Sustainable Packaging Innovation Hub, which focuses on accelerating investment and innovation in sustainable packaging across its markets. This includes continuing investment in enhanced recycling technologies, as well as alternative packaging solutions for the future, such as paper bottles, bio-based packaging materials, refillable-returnable and packaging-free alternatives such as its dispensed Freestyle, PlantBottle or micro-dosing solutions.

** Images used represent early prototypes of the Paboco paper bottle innovation being developed. They are not for commercial use.