Paper packaging materials and solutions provider BillerudKorsnäs and plastic packaging solutions provider ALPLA have formed a joint venture in the Danish paper bottle company ecoXpac, which aims to develop a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle.  

At Packaging Europe, we have been watching the development of this paper bottle project with great interest. When the transaction has been completed, BillerudKorsnäs and ALPLA will own equal parts of ecoXpac. A minority share will be held by the founder family. BillerudKorsnäs is currently the majority owner and has been a shareholder in the company since 2015. The project itself was started by ecoXpac in 2010, with the Carlsberg Group also joining in 2015.

ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs say they share the ambition to drive packaging innovation in a sustainable direction. The two companies intend to leverage the development by combining their resources, competencies and strengths to support scaling ecoXpac in the commercialisation of a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle.

In late 2016, Carlsberg Group revealed a first physical prototype of a paper bottle, the Green Fiber Bottle, and the first generation of paper bottles has since then been in a testing phase. The plan now is to continue the development to be able to launch and then scale up production. Following generations are intended to be both fully biobased and have biodegradable barriers, 'thereby fully realising the vision and enabling consumers all over the world to live more sustainably'. 

The formation of the joint venture is subject to customary regulatory approvals such as merger control clearances. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in Q3 2019.