Danish brewer Carlsberg will conduct its largest pilot trial to date as it looks to make a bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottle a commercial reality.
Dubbed the “fibre bottle”, which features an outer shell made of sustainably-sourced wood fibre and a plant-based PEF polymer lining, it will be selectively rolled out in the European markets of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and France. A sample size of 8000 bottles will be targeted to consumers and other stakeholders through the likes of festivals and other events with feedback received to help develop future versions.
Carlsberg said the PEF technology, which was developed by its partner Avantium, protects “the taste and fizziness of the beer better than conventional fossil-fuel-based PET plastic”. Made of natural raw elements, PEF is compatible with plastic recycling systems and will degrade should it end up outside of those systems.
The company also said the outer shell has “insulative properties which can help keep beer colder for longer, compared to cans or glass bottles”.
The only part of the bottle that isn’t completely bio-based is the conventional crown seal but Carlsberg said it is exploring alternative fibre-based bottle caps “with a generic solution expected in 2023”.
The company’s aim is for the “fibre bottle to achieve up to 80 per cent less emissions than current single-use glass bottles”.
“Thus, for every single-use glass bottle created, five fibre bottles could be created using the same carbon footprint,” Carlsberg said in a statement.
“When the fibre bottle is commercialised at scale, it will expand Carlsberg consumers’ choice and complement, rather than replace, existing packaging like glass bottles and cans.”
Carlsberg are also taking a sustainable approach with what it is filling its green-credentialed bottles with, as the barley harnessed in the brewing process was cultivated using fully organic and regenerative agricultural practices. Carlsberg said, “cover crops have been grown in the organic barley fields to contribute some additional benefits of regenerative farming”.