Fair amount of smoke and mirrors surrounding this by its big backers – like many food grade packaging, non-permeable barriers are required so yes, you have a wood fibre/paper bottle. With a plastic liner.
So it’s a lot of work gone into something that really is no more environmentally friendly than a tetrapak.
I’m not a packaging expert, but I can imagin that a bottle for a carbonated drink (i.e. beer, soda) needs other characteristics than one for not-carbonated (like milk, wine, HUEL RTD). Not only the bottle itself, but also the shape and the cap. Plus, a lot of beer is fermented in the bottle, so this is another thing that should be taken into account.
Carlsberg is now developping a paper bottle. Idk if it’s more eco-friendly than re-usable glass bottles, but it’s a nice alternative to pursue I think.
hi - it’s actually less recyclable than a glass bottle due to the plastic barriers needed to line the paper bottle (any beverage container has this whether it’s an aluminium can, tetra pack or take away coffee cup). So they are actually introducing plastic into a packaging chain that had, or needed, none.
The only really benefit here is the packaging will be significantly lighter than glass so will reduce the amount of freight needed. Actually - calling it a paper bottle is slightly disingenuous as its compressed wood fibre (not pulp like paper production) so it’s more Ikea than Independent.
Last year, Carlsberg’s brands shipped 33.9 million bottles – that’s a shed load of forestry biting the dust if they went totally in this direction.
hmm seems - the beverage industry is still keen on chopping down lots of trees - latest one is Diageo who have formed a new company called Pulpex to produce wooden bottles for themselves and others such as Unilever and Pepsico - first ones going live next year
A lot of disposable coffee cups now use alternatives for the typical plastic liner and are completely biodegradable. The tech is so widespread that they’re not even noticeably more expensive than the old style non-recyclable cups now (I used to run a coffee shop!)
The issue is that, at the moment, this technology will only work for a limited period before it starts to degrade. You’re talking weeks not days but still, it limits the usefulness for products like beers and bottled water etc. What I will say is that the person(s) who finally ‘crack’ this problem will be very wealthy indeed as every drinks manufacturer is desperate to be the first to get there.
Not to mention baby food and a gazillion other food products tbh. I helped sell a packaging company once which had put great efforts towards this in order to preserve the freshness of the ingredients but whilst they made some advances in plastic pouches for general ethnic food production they still hadn’t cracked it. Millions into R&D and they weren’t even a particularly large company (way below my the usual deal threshold for my old team) so I can’t imagine how much is being spent by the really big players out there.
and none of these are suitable for long term use - as they are literally there are as a waterproofing solution not a barrier in the way they are used in other beverage bottles and cans which are there to prevent oxidisation and contamination of the product over long shelf times. the only retail drinks containers that do not have some sort of plastic liner are those that are already plastic or glass.
Latest brand to board the Paboco gravy train is Coca Cola – their prototype is a slightly different concept to earlier versions used by Diageo and Carlsberg as its more paper based than compressed wood but still needs a PET plastic liner and cap so essentially – pointless. They say their ultimate aim is to do away with the plastic liners but if they haven’t gotten there yet and still met food hygiene regulations – I wouldn’t hold your breath.
This is it. Obviously this is progress, and we need to make several steps before we land the perfect solution, but surely this is just reducing net usage of plastic but still creating something that isn’t recyclable?
We’re focussing on increasing the recycled plastic content of our RTD bottles and making our pouches recyclable, to encourage a circular economy.
More or less yes – Using the line that ‘we use a fully recyclable PET liner’ and by implication that the paper outer is also recyclable is entirely disingenuous. Any PET product is fully recyclable, but by bonding a paper outer to it – you’re actually making that process more difficult and less likely to happen.
PET is recycled either by melting or boiling it in solvents that reduce it to it’s component parts - both of these processes require extreme heat (>260°C) that would at best mean the paper elements would combust and burn away (this happens between 218 - 246°C) or at worst contaminate the reclaimed resin making it unusable for food grade packaging.