Coca-Cola's innovative paper bottle was successfully tested in Hungary

The Coca-Cola Company has teamed up with the Danish start-up Paper Bottle Company (Paboco) to create a new type of beverage packaging, the paper bottle prototype. Hungarian consumers tried the first packaging prototype produced in large quantities during the market test launched by the producer and on June 16. Those who ordered an AdeZ plant-based drink received a sample product of the innovative packaging. Based on their experiences and feedback, the development of the environmentally friendly packaging solution can continue, and Coca-Cola Hungary will also ensure the replacement of the wood used for production by planting trees.

At the essence of World Without Waste, The Coca-Cola Company's global strategy, is the elimination of packaging waste and the creation of a sustainable, circular economy where all waste is recycled into raw materials. In order to achieve this, the company has made the following commitments:

  • By 2030, all the company’s primary beverage packaging will be 100% recyclable – Coca-Cola's beverage packaging used in Hungary, including PET bottles, is already 100% recyclable.
  • An increased proportion of recycled plastic should be used to produce PET bottles 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
  • 100% the amount of the company’s beverage packaging should be collected and recycled by 2030, regardless of who produced and packaged them.

The company is also working with partners around the world to develop promising new technologies and packaging solutions, and to implement those into its large-scale production.

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The development of a 100 percent recyclable paper bottle has been underway since 2019 at the beverage company's R&D laboratory in Brussels. At its current stage, the packaging still contains a fully recyclable plastic lining as well as a 100% recyclable plastic cap. The introduction of the prototype was followed by a consumer testing period, with Hungarian customers being the first to try out the experimental pieces of the new packaging solution. Starting from the 16th of June 2021, those who ordered AdeZ plant-based drink from online shopping market received a gift product delivered in the prototype paper bottle. The empty bottles were collected by Coca-Cola Hungary and the development centre subjected them to laboratory tests to see how the packaging performed during transport and use.

The beverage company conducted a detailed survey which examined Hungarian consumers' opinions, the bottle’s performance and its perception. After trying the new packaging, nearly 90 percent of respondents liked AdeZ's new paper packaging, and if given a choice between two identical products, 85 percent of them would choose the paper bottle.

The Coca-Cola Company considers the paper bottles developed at its Brussels plant as an alternative, rather than a replacement for its existing recyclable packaging. The goal is 100% recyclability, without waste – by collecting and recycling all packaging so that no packaging waste is released into the environment.

In the next phase, development will continue based on the feedback and the results of the tested bottles, with the aim of creating a fully bio-based and 100% recyclable paper bottle. It will be produced using only sustainably sourced wood, which can be recycled as paper after consumption. Coca-Cola Hungary is also planning to replace the wood it uses to make the bottles: the company will start planting trees in the neighbourhood of its Dunaharaszti plant, in cooperation with the city council, in order to locally replace the natural, renewable raw material used for the experimental project.