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For a greener future: Coca-Cola experiments with its first paper bottles3 min read

March 10, 2021 3 min read


For a greener future: Coca-Cola experiments with its first paper bottles3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In Owliver’s earlier report, we had discussed how the company Coca-Cola was contributing to the highest amount of plastic waste in the world! Now, to reduce the sheer quantity of plastic waste generated from this company and the various products it has under it, Coca-Cola is testing a prototype paper bottle. This is an effort towards its long-term goal to eliminate plastic from its packaging entirely. 

The prototype bottle is being developed by a Danish company – it is made from an extra-strong paper with a thin lining of plastic inside. While the goal is to ultimately move towards plastic-free packaging and produce zero waste by 2030, there are many hurdles the company needs to cross first. For example, will the change in packaging alter the iconic taste of Coca-Cola that we have been drinking for eons? Will there be any fibre or residue from the paper packaging? These issues are what the company is working hard towards solving. 

Years of efforts

The Danish company – Paboco – has been working on this project for more than seven years! Now, it is finally ready to host a trial this summer using Coca-Cola’s fruit drink Adez. The plan is to first roll out 2,000 bottles. 

Michael Michelsen, the firm’s commercial manager, says the bottles are formed out of a single piece of paper-fibre-based material to give them strength.

Plastic caps are still being used for the paper bottles

However, even if this trial run goes smooth, the actual challenge will be to get rid of all plastic from the bottle. As paper cannot come in contact with the liquid, the eventual idea is to switch to a plant-based coating inside the bottle, which, the company says it is working towards. Another concern is the plastic cap of the bottles, which will also soon be replaced. 

The challenges

Experts believe that even if the trials go well, paper bottles won’t automatically replace plastic ones, and other similar trials haven’t had as much success as expected. In many countries, the plastic manufacturing and recycling industries are so huge that it will create issues when the switch has to be made to paper. Plastic bottles are also cheap and effective, which is why shifting to paper ones may be a slow, long-drawn process. 

However, if one innovation can create pressure for others to slowly move towards more sustainable products, then it’s a win-win situation, right? 

Think with Owliver

Imagine you are the branding head of Coco-Cola – how would you go about creating eco-friendly packaging for your fizzy drink? What materials do you think you would use to replace plastic? Put on those thinking caps and let us know in the comments! 

Sources: BBC, News 18

Images: Coca-Cola, errl.co.in