The latest iteration of Carlsberg’s Fibre Bottle has been billed as a three-part sustainability act, being plant-based, recyclable and biodegradable in the environment.
In a new pilot study, 8,000 Fibre Bottles will be sampled by consumers in eight Western European market – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and France – through select festivals and flagship events, as well as targeted product samplings.
Testing at this scale will give Carlsberg the opportunity to gather feedback on people’s experiences of the product, which will inform the next generation of design.
The company describes the Fibre Bottle’s plant-based PEF polymer lining – developed by it partner Avantium – as a “significant milestone”.
PEF is made from natural raw materials, is said to be compatible with plastic recycling systems, and can degrade into nature should it end up outside national recycling systems.
Beyond its sustainable packaging benefits, PEF functions crucially 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.
Carlsberg claims that Generation 2.0 of the Fibre Bottle already performs better than the single-use glass bottle in the products lifecycle assessment, and it has further ambitions for the subsequent Generation 3.0 design. Its vision, supported by current projections, is for the Fibre Bottle to achieve up to 80% less emissions than current single-use glass bottles.
This would mean that for every single-use glass bottle created, five Fibre Bottles could be created using the same carbon footprint. Ultimately, Carlsberg is aiming for the Fibre Bottle to achieve the same low carbon footprint as the refillable glass bottle – currently the best-performing primary packaging when collected and reused in efficient systems.