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Coca Cola may soon be sold in paper bottles

In a collaboration with its partner Paboco, Coca Cola has been working on a paper bottle for the beverage. The company announced that the first prototype of a paper bottle packaging is ready.

“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.

Coca Cola has been at work to create a bottle made 100% from paper. The innovation is part of the company’s environmental initiative: “World Without Waste”. Coca Cola has pledged to be able to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030, while also substantially reducing its use of virgin packaging materials, and only using packaging materials that are 100% recyclable.

The first generation paper bottle, while 100% recyclable, still contains plastic. Coca Cola acknowledges that there is still work to be done to achieve its vision of a bottle that can be recycled like paper.

“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,” said Stijn.

Stijn and his 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. The paper bottle has to be able to adhere to the same high safety and quality standards for food packaging.

“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,” said Stijn.

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