EUROPE – Carlsberg Group has revealed the trial of its new Fibre Bottle, putting the bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottle into the hands of consumers for the first time.

The trial will see 8,000 Fibre Bottles being sampled in eight Western European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and France.

The company will distribute the bottles at selected summer events, including festivals, flagship events, and product sampling targets to gather feedback from consumers, customers and stakeholders.

Testing at this scale will give Carlsberg the opportunity to gather feedback on people’s experiences of the product, which will inform the next generation of design.

The bottle has been made with a wood-based fibre shell and contains a lining made of a plant-based Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) polymer developed by Carlsberg’s partner Avantium, a leading expert in renewable chemistry.

The company claims that the lining importantly protects the taste and fizziness of the beer. This is mutually beneficial for the shelf life of the product and the company itself.

According to Innova Market Insights, recent data show that nearly 30% of consumers in western Europe are not willing to compromise the freshness of a product to reduce plastic usage in packaging.

The outer shell of the bottle, produced by the packaging company Paboco, consists of sustainably-sourced wood fibre and is also bio-based.

This shell has the added benefit of insulative properties which can help keep beer colder for longer, compared to cans or glass bottles.

According to Avantium Spokesman: “The Fibre Bottle will be an additional alternative for consumers, not a replacement.”

“Given the recyclability of cans, the reusability of refillable glass bottles, and the large-scale recycling infrastructures that are in place for these, the Fibre bottle will complement these as an additional option for consumers to choose from.”

The bottle is 100% bio-based apart from the cap, which is currently needed to ensure the quality of the product, and together the bottle and cap are fully recyclable.

Going forward, Paboco, Carlsberg and partners in the wider Paper Bottle Community are exploring alternative fibre-based bottle caps, with a generic solution expected in 2023.

Carlsberg will continue development, together with Avantium and Paboco, to arrive at a tailored 3.0 solution that is equally suitable for primary beer packaging, using this year’s consumer feedback and Paboco’s developments.

The trial precedes the global launch of Carlsberg’s ambitious ESG programme, Together Towards Zero and Beyond.

The program aims to build on existing sustainability performance and momentum to take on new ambitions within sustainable agriculture and sustainable packaging, ultimately enabling Carlsberg to reduce its carbon impacts across the full value chain.

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