Absolut to trial bio-based bottle caps

The Absolut Company has confirmed plans to develop and trial a bio-based, fully recyclable bottle cap made from sustainable sources, as it moves ahead with an ambition to become a fully circular business by 2025.

Absolut to trial bio-based bottle caps

The companies plan to share the development plans commercially in 2023

Absolut has confirmed that it is working with Swedish start-up Blue Ocean Closures (BOC) to develop a cap for its Absolut Vodka bottles that would be made from natural fibre-based materials.

The cap would, according to Absolut, reduce the amount of plastic required in its packaging. The alternative materials would be FSC certified and act as a thing top-seal barrier layer for the bottle. Absolut believes the innovation would be recyclable in paper streams and could also biodegrade.

The development will be used specifically for glass bottles, but Absolut is exploring the use for future packaging applications. The companies plan to share the development plans commercially in 2023.

Absolut’s director of packaging development Eric Naf said: “We know that collaboration across the whole value chain sits at the heart of long-term progress and true environmental, economic, and social impact.

“As part of our circular way of thinking, we are delighted to be working with BOC to continue designing out single-use materials and using packaging innovation for the benefit of the planet.”

Circular business

The Absolut Company and Pernod Ricard are aiming to transition to a fully circular business, meaning that 100% of its packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

In 2020, the Absolut Company announced a trial of 2,000 paper-based bottle prototypes across Sweden and the UK, to test the viability of paper as an alternative to single-use plastics in beverage applications.

The first prototypes were made up of 100% recycled content, with 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic, with the latter used to create a barrier layer for the bottle.

The company has since replaced the plastic used for the neck of the bottle with a thin, bio-based barrier.

Absolut confirmed last year that it is testing different bio-based coatings in order to move more of the bottle away from plastics, although bio-plastics are also being tested in an attempt to use as little barrier material as possible. The company is now seeing if bio-based materials can work as the barrier inside the bottle.

Absolut is working with a range of businesses, including Carlsberg and Coca-Cola on the formation and delivery of a paper bottle community. The Absolut Company is one of the founding pioneers of this community and has been joined by The Coca-Cola Company, Carlsberg and L’Oréal.

Through this initiative, the Coca-Cola Company – one of the biggest plastic producers in the food and beverage space – has confirmed plans to trial 2,000 paper-based bottles, to test the material’s viability as an alternative to single-use plastics.

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