Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Carlsberg Working to Develop Biodegradable Wood Fiber Bottle

Beer giant Carlsberg last week announced its plans to develop the world’s first fully biodegradable wood-fiber bottle.

After its participation on a panel on “Wasteless Supply” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Carlsberg launched its three-year project with development partners to design a bio-based, biodegradable bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fiber, which it is calling the “Green Fiber Bottle.” The company will work alongside packaging company ecoXpac, and in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark.

All parts of the bottle — including the cap — are to be manufactured using only bio-based and biodegradable materials, so they can be responsibly discarded and degraded.

“At Carlsberg we are firm believers in the importance of a circular economy in ensuring sustainable future growth and development on our planet, and today’s announcement is excellent news,” Andraea Dawson-Shepherd, SVP for Corporate Affairs at Carlsberg, said in a statement. “If the project comes to fruition, as we think it will, it will mark a sea change in our options for packaging liquids, and will be another important step on our journey towards a circular, zero-waste economy.”

This latest project is one of several that form part of the Carlsberg Circular Community (CCC), an initiative in which Carlsberg and selected partners use the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) framework when designing new products, in an effort to ease the transition toward a circular, zero-waste economy. The initiative has six founding partners, with two recent additions — ecoXpac and 1HQ (a global branding agency). The CCC aims to have 15 partners on board by 2016.

Last year the CCC initiative made several achievements, including gaining C2C certification for Carlsberg and Somersby Cider Rexam cans in the UK, initial-stage C2C assessments of six different packaging products and the launch of a two-year research program on C2C and LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) with the Technical University of Denmark.

The launch of Carlsberg’s three-year biodegradable packaging project was announced in the same week that Finnish packaging solutions company, Stora Enso, published a report concluding that “Millennials” (those born between 1980 and 2000) have higher expectations on brands for sustainable packaging than their older counterparts.

Speaking of engaging millennials, Carlsberg was among the host of brands behind the digital platform Collectively, launched in October, aimed at finding ways of engaging more effectively with millennials to inspire and accelerate more sustainable ways of living.

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