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Popular Beer Brand Develops World's First 'Paper' Beer Bottles That Can Be Easily Recycled

We talk about plastic pollution so much we forget about other kinds of waste we dump that cause problems.


E-waste for instance can leach deadly chemicals into the land, and glass waste can be harmful too. That's why beer brand Carlsberg is trying to cut back.
he Copenhagen-based beer company has just released two research prototypes for paper bottles it's been working on. Called a "Green Fibre Bottle", it's a storage container for their beer in the market that should be easier on the environment, as well as easier to recycle.
When glass bottles are discarded, they're not necessarily as harmful as plastic, but they aren't free from problems. The most direct nuisance is that broken glass discarded in the wild can end up injuring animals, and even people trekking through the area, not to mention that it's also non-biodegradable. Aside from that, it's also possible that many forest fires are caused by discarded glass waste focusing the sunlight falling on the forest floor's dry brush, the same way you can do with a magnifying glass.
Recycling glass is possible, but it's not necessarily easy either. The glass has to be broken up into a sand-like state and then melted down to be reformed. That does require less energy than melting down raw materials into new glass, but it still involves some heat, and therefore carbon dioxide output.
Carlsberg's bottle meanwhile uses sustainably-sourced wood fibres to manufacture, the company announced at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen on Friday. They began developing the idea back in 2015, and have been working with packaging experts and academics ever since.
Wood containers aren't great at storing liquid however, so they had to research how to augment the wood fibre bottles to store their beer. One of the prototypes involved creating an inner barrier for the bottle using a recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer film. That's basically a thin film of recycled plastic you find in traditional fizzy drink bottles.


The other prototype was even better though, using what Carlsberg described as a "100% bio-based" polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymer film barrier. It's basically a kind of plastic that researchers believe can replace all or most usage of PET. However, it's made from 100 percent renewable materials like forest and agricultural waste, which can be incinerated or recycled with no additional carbon dioxide production.
The prototypes are currently in testing, and Carlsberg may introduce them as its official drink containers very soon. Eventually, the company says it plans to produce 100 percent bio-based bottles without even the polymers in the current prototypes.
This makes Carlsberg another mention in a list of a few companies that seem to be taking their waste output seriously. Earlier this month Unilever said it plans to halve the amount of virgin plastic it uses by 2025. Adidas is also already producing shoes made with recycled plastic, and plans to do that will all of its sportswear production by 2024.



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