It appears that the title of the world's largest plastic polluter (for 4 consecutive years) you finally start getting on the nerves of Coca-Cola executives.
After only declaring last year that it did not intend to break free from plastic, the Coca-Cola Company has slowly begun to reevaluate its supply chain and choice of materials.
Thanks to a partnership with the Danish company paboco (manufacturer of paper bottles), Coca-Cola has just introduced its first "paper bottle".
The paper bottle
Available for a limited online trial in Hungary, Coca-Cola is planning a limited release of 2.000 bottles of its plant-based drink AdeZ. It's almost nothing to start with, but it's an interesting sample for early feedback. Paboco, the company behind the bottle design, will be able to receive an important push to continue development.
What is the paper bottle that Coca-Cola is testing like?
Paboco's paper bottle features an internal biopolymer coating to provide a waterproof barrier (so the paper doesn't get soaked). The outer layer consists of a wood-based Nordic paper and provides the perfect substrate for printing, eliminating the need for a label. The bottle itself can be shaped just like plastic bottles, paving the way for the use of shapes, textures and patterns to make the product stand out ... and the bottle necks can also be threaded, allowing for the use of a paper cap (with the option also of corrugated metal caps).
Although the paper bottle is biodegradable, Coca-Cola hopes to develop a design and supply chain that still allows bottles to be recycled just like paper.
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 to achieve this.Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager of Coca-Cola
I am skeptical
The limited edition of Coca-Cola finds me very skeptical (2000 bottles are really, really insufficient) but the challenge is really tough. Imagine the company's production volumes. Bottles can be easily crushed or damaged if transported in large volumes, a complication that increases exponentially when we think of carbonated drinks. For this, perhaps, products like AdeZ can come in handy. These are thick smoothies without gas or ferments. If this approach works, Coca-Cola could try to gradually expand it. I would consider it a first important milestone even to launch the whole Adez line with paper bottles.