Coca-Cola Puts Its First Paper Bottle to the Test

Although the bottle still has a plastic lid, it's a step forward.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Coca-Cola has a plastic problem. The firm was ranked the world's number one plastic polluter by the charity 'Break Free From Plastic' in its annual survey.

Now, it seems the firm is trying to do something about its less-than-ideal plastic record. It is introducing its first-ever paper bottle.

Announced in a blog post on the company's site, the firm's initiate will aim to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one they sell by 2030. They also plan on substantially reducing their use of virgin packaging materials and only use packaging materials that are 100% recyclable. 

As part of these initiatives, Coca-Cola has been working with partner Paboco to explore the concept of a paper bottle. 

"Our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any other type of paper, and this prototype is the first step on the way to achieving this. A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities, and we are convinced that paper packaging has a role to play in the future,” said in the blog Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager at Coca‑Cola, who is working on the project. 

The project is not complete yet. The new paper bottle still contains some plastic. But the firm is heading toward a completely plastic-free version.

"This first-generation paper bottle prototype still consists of a paper shell with a plastic closure and a plastic liner inside. The plastic we use is made from 100% recycled plastic that can be recycled again after use. But our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any paper. The next step is to find a solution to create a bottle without the plastic liner,” Stijn explained.

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