2,000 consumers will soon receive Coca‑Cola’s first ever drink in a paper bottle prototype, set to be tested in the market for the first time this summer.  The innovative new packaging format will be trialed in Hungary with Coca‑Cola’s plant-based drink, AdeZ, in just a few months’ time.

Today’s news comes after Coca‑Cola unveiled its paper bottle prototype in Brussels last year.  The project will now move into the critical consumer testing phase, in order to measure how the packaging performs as well as how people respond to the new format.  

The Company has set ambitious goals related to packaging as part of its strategy and vision for a World Without Waste and aims to collect a bottle or can that it sells by 2030, with 100% recyclability and zero waste. As part of this, it is exploring innovative new packaging solutions that can help contribute to a sustainable and circular economy for all packaging materials. The Company has committed to collect a bottle or can for every one that it sells by 2030, with 100% recyclability and zero waste.

The new paper bottle prototype is being developed as part of a partnership between scientists at Coca‑Cola’s Brussels Research and Development laboratories and The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco), a Danish startup supported by ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs, in cooperation with Carlsberg, L’Oréal and The Absolut Company.

The technology developed by Paboco is designed to create 100% recyclable bottles made of sustainably sourced wood with a bio-based material barrier suitable for liquid goods such as carbonated and still drinks, beauty products and more.  The current prototype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable plastic lining and cap.

Ultimately, the goal and objective of the project is to develop a bottle without the plastic liner that can be recycled as paper and the Company is excited about the potential for the technology and the opportunity to learn from this trial. 

One step closer to commercial reality

“The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle”, said Daniela Zahariea, Director of Technical Supply Chain & Innovation for Coca‑Cola Europe.

“People expect Coca‑Cola to develop and bring to market new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging. That’s why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first in-market trial. It’s part of delivering on our World Without Waste goals”, she said.

The trial of the paper bottle prototype is scheduled to take place in Hungary in the second quarter of 2021. 2,000 bottles of 250ml AdeZ will be offered to consumers by one of Hungary’s fastest growing online grocery retailers,

Stijn Franssen, Coca‑Cola’s EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager, is leading the project with a team of colleagues and emphasizes that new technology is still in development.

“This is new technology and we are moving in uncharted territory. We have to invent the technical solutions as we go along”, he said.

“We will continue to invest in innovating and exploring new packaging technologies in cooperation with our partners at Paboco. This launch shows that we’re making good progress despite the journey ahead of us. It also shows Coca‑Cola’s determination to drive this sort of packaging innovation forwards by exploring and working together”, said Stijn Franssen.