Carlsberg trials bio-based and recyclable beer bottles across Europe

A total of 8,000 Fibre Bottles are being tested in eight markets – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany, France and the UK

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Carlsberg Group has launched a pilot of its new beer bottles that are bio-based and fully recyclable in its largest trial to date.

A total of 8,000 Fibre Bottles are being tested in eight markets – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany, France and the UK – giving Carlsberg the opportunity to gather feedback on people’s experience of the product which will inform the next generation of design.

The bio-based bottle has a plant-based PEF polymer lining – developed by its partner Avantium – made entirely from natural raw materials, is compatible with plastic recycling systems and can degrade into nature should it end up outside national recycling systems.

The PEF is also said to function as a “highly effective barrier” between the beer and the fibre outer shell, protecting the taste and fizziness of the beer better than conventional fossil fuel-based PET plastic.

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

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.

Carlsberg, Paboco and partners are exploring alternative fibre-based bottle caps, with a generic solution expected in 2023.

Stephane Munch, VP Group Development at Carlsberg said: “We are delighted to bring our new Fibre Bottle into the hands of consumers, allowing them to experience it for themselves. This pilot will serve a greater purpose in testing the production, performance and recycling of this product at scale.

“Identifying and producing PEF, as a competent functional barrier for beer, has been one of our greatest challenges – so getting good test results, collaborating with suppliers and seeing the bottles being filled on the line is a great achievement!”