BillerudKorsnäs has partnered with the Danish Institute of Technology, ecoXpac, and beverage producer Carlsberg in the mission to create a natural, biodegradable, and recyclable alternative to single use plastic bottles.

The four Scandinavian organisations are working together to produce the world’s first 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable paper bottle for carbonated beverages. The Swedish company BillerudKorsnäs is developing the pulp recipe, chemistry and grinding in order to allow the bottle to withstand the high pressure and temperatures involved in the manufacturing process.

The producers have pioneered a manufacturing process with minimal environmental impact. It is based on thermoforming, the process of heating a material so it can be moulded into intricate shapes and then dried quickly, a process that is less energy intensive than conventional container production.

The challenge for the producers is to create a product that can match or outperform the existing materials, without compromising on price. The current design takes inspiration from the spruce and pine – two of the elements making up the packaging. The companies hope to launch the first product early next year.

Why you should care

Microplastics are continue to permeate terrestrial ecosystems, with potentially dangerous long-term consequences for biodiversity and human health. As animals begin to consume micro and nano plastics, there is potential for these toxic chemicals to accumulate through the food chain and pose threats for human consumption. Safer alternatives to plastic are needed to reduce these threats.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Responsible production and consumption
Paper-based alternatives for plastic bottles can provide a more sustainable and circular strategy for beverage producers.

Life below water
The paper bottle could help to reduce the quantities of plastic ocean waste, that is currently estimated to be between 5 and 13 million tonnes.

Life on land
Additives in plastic such as phthalates and Bisphenol A (widely known as BPA) can leach out of plastic particles and can disrupt the hormone system of vertebrates and invertebrates alike.