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Coca-Cola is set to launch a European trial for its recently announced first-ever paper bottle prototype.

The solution has been developed through a partnership between scientists at the Coca-Cola Research and Development Laboratories in Brussels and The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco).

The technology developed by Paboco is designed to create recyclable bottles made of sustainably-sourced wood that are capable of resisting liquids, CO2, and oxygen, and are suitable for liquid goods such as carbonated and still drinks, beauty products, and more. 

The current prototype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable plastic lining and cap made from 100% recycled PET. However, the company’s ultimate goal is to produce a bottle that can be recycled as paper.

“The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle”, said Daniela Zahariea, director of technical supply chain and innovation for Coca-Cola Europe.

“People expect Coca-Cola to develop and bring to market new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging. That’s why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first in-market trial. It’s part of delivering on our World Without Waste commitments.”

The trial is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of this year and will involve the company’s plant-based AdeZ drink being offered to 2,000 consumers in Hungary, through a partnership with - one of Hungary’s fastest growing online grocery retailers.

Stijn Franssen, R&D packaging innovation manager, adds: “This trial will provide us with invaluable insight and feedback. We will get to see how the paper bottle prototype performs as packaging and what consumers think and feel about it. 

“This is an exciting step forward for us, as it means we’re out of the lab and into the real world. So for the first time, consumers will actually be drinking one of our products from a potentially new type of paper packaging.”

This move marks a further step in fulfilling The Coca-Cola Company’s global vision of achieving a “World Without Waste”, in which the company has pledged to ensure all of its packaging is collected, recycled, or re-used by 2030.