Carlsberg Group has on Wednesday announced the trial of its new Fibre Bottle.
The bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottle also contains beer brewed with organic and regenerative barley.
The pilot, Carlsberg’s largest to date, will see 8,000 Fibre Bottles being sampled in eight Western European markets including the UK.
The bottles will be placed into the hands of local consumers, customers and other stakeholders through select festivals and flagship events, as well as targeted product samplings. British beer fans will get the chance to try these exclusive bottles via social media giveaways from Friday (June 24).
Carlsberg said testing at this scale will give the opportunity to gather feedback on people’s experiences of the product, which will inform the next generation of design.
“We are delighted to bring our new Fibre Bottle into the hands of consumers, allowing them to experience it for themselves. This pilot will serve a greater purpose in testing the production, performance and recycling of this product at scale,” Stephane Munch, VP Group Development at Carlsberg, said.
Sam Johnson, UK Head of Marketing at Carlsberg, added: “A commitment to innovation and progress is part of Carlsberg’s DNA and the new Fibre Bottle is the latest example of that. The bottle is the result of years of passion, hard work and collaboration – and another step forward in our journey to reduce the impact of our packaging. Getting these bottles in the hands of consumers to experience it for themselves is the next stage in the development and we’re delighted to be taking part in the trial.”
A significant milestone for the Fibre Bottle is its plant-based PEF polymer lining, which has been developed by Carlsberg’s partner Avantium, a leading expert in renewable chemistry. PEF is made entirely from natural raw materials, is compatible with plastic recycling systems, and can degrade into nature should it end up outside national recycling systems.
“Identifying and producing PEF, as a competent functional barrier for beer, has been one of our greatest challenges – so getting good test results, collaborating with suppliers and seeing the bottles being filled on the line is a great achievement,” Munch said.
Carlsberg added that PEF also functions as a highly effective barrier between the beer and the fibre outer shell, protecting the taste and fizziness of the beer better than conventional fossil-fuel-based PET plastic. The outer shell of the bottle, produced by the packaging company Paboco, consists of sustainably-sourced wood fibre and is also bio-based. This shell has the added benefit of insulative properties which can help keep beer colder for longer, compared to cans or glass bottles.
The bottle is 100% bio-based apart from the cap, which is currently needed to ensure the quality of the product, and together the bottle and cap are fully recyclable.
Paboco, Carlsberg and partners in the wider paper bottle community are exploring alternative fibre-based bottle caps, with a generic solution expected in 2023. Carlsberg said it will continue development, together with Avantium and Paboco, to arrive at a tailored 3.0 solution that is equally suitable for primary beer packaging, using this year’s consumer feedback and Paboco’s developments.
Carlsberg has also bottled a more sustainable brew for its 2022 consumer trials. In collaboration with barley malt supplier Soufflet, Carlsberg has brewed a beer with barley that has been cultivated using fully organic and regenerative agricultural practices.
The brewer claimed that the Generation 2.0 of the Fibre Bottle already performs better than the single-use glass bottle in the product´s lifecycle assessment, and Carlsberg has even greater ambitions for the subsequent Generation 3.0 design. Carlsberg’s vision, supported by current projections, is for the Fibre Bottle to achieve up to 80% less emissions than current single-use glass bottles.