EUROPE – Danish multinational brewer, Carlsberg Group, has announced a large-scale trial of about 8,000 bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottles across Western Europe.

The Tuborg beer maker noted that the pilot is ‘vital to accelerating Carlsberg’s ambition of making the beer bottle a commercial reality.

The pilot will target consumers, customers, and other stakeholders at select festivals and flagship events, as well as running targeted product samplings across Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, Poland, Germany, and France.

The company said the eco-friendly bottle will also contain beer brewed with organic and regenerative barley.

The Danish multinational brewer pointed out that the testing at scale will give it the opportunity to gather feedback on people’s experiences of the product, which will inform the next generation of design.

Generation 2.0 of the Fibre Bottle already performs better than the single-use glass bottle in the product´s lifecycle assessment, according to Carlsberg, which wants subsequent generations of the bottle to ultimately achieve up to 80% fewer emissions than its current single-use glass bottles.

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 noted the latest version of the Fibre Bottle is made from plant-based PEF polymer lining, which has been developed by Avantium.

This is a significant milestone for the multinational brewer since it has overcome one of the biggest challenges for fibre-based bottles to date, which has been to find an effective inner lining to contain the liquid.

The PEF is 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 company elaborated.

It added that PEF also functions 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.

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

It is expected that by 2023, Paboco, Carlsberg and partners in the wider Paper Bottle Community will have explored and produced a generic solution for the alternative fibre-based bottle caps.

Carlsberg has also pledged to 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 ESG programme, Together Towards Zero and Beyond, which will build on existing sustainability performance and momentum.

The programmes are 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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