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 incredible new packaging format will be trialed in Hungary with our plant-based drink, AdeZ, in just a few months’ time.

Having first unveiled a paper bottle prototype in Brussels last year, our project will now move into a consumer testing phase in order to measure how this new kind of packaging performs, as well as how people respond to the new material.

Moving towards a ‘World Without Waste’

We’ve set ambitious goals related to packaging as part of our strategy and vision for a World Without Waste, aiming to collect one bottle or can for every single one we sell by 2030 – with 100% recyclability and zero waste. As part of this, we’re exploring innovative new packaging solutions that can help contribute to a sustainable and circular economy for all our packaging materials.

This 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.

Coca-Cola paper bottle in the foreground with an out-of-focus background of a room

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

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to develop a bottle without the plastic liner – one that can be recycled like paper. We’re really excited about the potential for that technology and the opportunity to learn from this trial.

One step closer

“The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle,” says 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,” she explains. “That’s why we’re 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.”

This paper bottle prototype trial 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,

Coca-Cola paper bottle in the foreground with an out-of-focus background of a room

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

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

“We’ll continue to invest in innovating and exploring new packaging technologies in cooperation with our partners at Paboco,” he adds. “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.”

You can find out lots more about our recycling and packaging initiatives here.

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