SWEDEN – Swedish packaging materials provider BillerudKorsnäs has joined forces with Alpla, an Austrian plastics manufacturer in a joint venture to develop a sustainable paper bottle.

The joint venture will be formed in the Danish paper bottle company Ecoxpac, which is majorly-owned by BillerudKorsnäs.

According to the terms of the agreement, both Alpla and BillerudKorsnäs will own equal parts in the JV once the transaction is completed.

The partnership will support the efforts to create and commercialize a fully bio-based and recyclable paper bottle as both the firms strive to move towards sustainable packaging.

“With BillerudKorsnäs we have found an ambitious partner creating a new packaging market segment that offers a complementary consumer experience to our current rigid packaging solutions,” said Günther Lehner, Alpla CEO.

“Alpla is sharing the passion for technical challenges and innovation.

“I want to emphasise the long-term vision of the joint venture to introduce fully bio-based paper bottles.

“Alpla is contributing capital as well as technical know-how to the joint venture to accelerate the development and market introduction of the paper bottle.”

Founded in 2005, the Denmark based Ecoxpac manufactures protective packaging products in biodegradable moulded fiber to make recycled paper, virgin fibers, and other biodegradable fibers.

The Paper Bottle is an innovation project where BillerudKorsnäs seeks to develop world’s first 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper bottle for carbonated beverages.

The pulp recipe, chemistry and grinding is developed by BillerudKorsnäs and is designed to optimize the Paper Bottle’s design properties, the ability to withstand high pressure as well as optimize the manufacturing process.

BillerudKorsnäs, together with brand developer Grow, has developed a prototype that can appeal to potential brand owners.

“I believe that with our shared and honest ambition to break new ground, Alpla and BillerudKorsnäs now make an important commitment to contribute to a more sustainable future,” said BillerudKorsnäs CEO Petra Einarsson.

“The question is not ‘if’ but rather ‘how soon’ this joint venture will introduce a fully bio-based and recyclable paper bottle to the market.

“And when we do, it will enable a significant shift in consumer behaviour globally.”