The Absolut Company (TAC) says they are rolling out 2,000 paper bottle prototypes as part of the Paper Bottle Company initiative. The first production run goes into controlled testing this November, according to Absolut.
This latest prototype is constructed from 57% paper and 43% plastic, which is recyclable and itself made of 100% recycled content, a spokesperson for the Absolut Company said. The rollout is set to start in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Once the company receives initial feedback from consumers, they plan to launch a second pilot production run next spring.
Absolut Vodka and the sparkling pre-mixed drink line Absolut Mixt will be the first two products tested in the paper bottles, the company said.
“The recycled plastic makes up the single barrier layer for the bottle, which can successfully be recycled as systems for processing this material are already in place,” the company explained. “Once the prototype has been successfully tested, TAC will move to the next stage of development, working towards the ultimate goal of a fully bio-based bottle.”
The Absolut Company is working collaboratively with paper bottle company Paboco, a joint venture between Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturer Alpla that launched in 2019. Paboco’s community includes partners Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, and L’Oréal. TAC noted that its collaboration with Paboco represents a key part of their prototype development.
Niclas Appelquist, innovation director of future packaging at the Absolut Company, told Environment + Energy leader this week that the rollout represents a major milestone for their packaging program.
“We’ve taken a concept and created a real-world prototype that is planned to be in controlled consumer testing in a matter of months,” he said. “Our sustainability strategy is making a commitment to a fully circular process, and the rollout of our prototype is a step in the right direction toward that goal.”