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Is the paper bottle packaging sustainable and practical?

Is the paper bottle packaging sustainable and practical?

2021-04-24

In recent years, the concept of paper bottle seems to emerge in endlessly, and innovation constantly breaks through the obstacles of pursuing the sustainable development of packaging. This kind of packaging has the benefits of sustainable development, which is ideally consistent with recycling.


As a result, major brands have a new interest in paper bottles. Although this is nothing new, the activities of pulp bottles are increasing, which is undoubtedly caused by the anti plastic sentiment sweeping the world.



Earlier, there was news that Diageo would start packaging liquor brands in 100% plastic free bottles from 2021. For this reason, drishti masand, a market analyst and researcher of lux research, made the following explanation on the related issues of paper bottle packaging that we are concerned about:


Q: The background and development of paper bottle packaging?

A: The paper bottle packaging for beverage market is not a new innovation; It has grown for many years with other brands such as Coca Cola, Carlsberg and a start-up called paboco. Carlsberg was the first company to call for pulp bottles instead of glass bottles in 2016. It has sought different partners to achieve this. Although the concept of paper bottle is nothing new, with more and more brands and industries (such as personal care brands such as L'Oreal) becoming more and more popular, the adoption of paper bottle can be regarded as an emerging trend.


Q:From plastic to paper packaging, what are the disadvantages?

A: As more and more people advocate using paper instead of plastic packaging, it is even more useful than bioplastics. Some companies are turning to paper packaging to reduce the use of plastics. However, the existing data show that paper packaging usually needs several times the quality to achieve the same function as plastic packaging. As a result, in addition to the carbon footprint, the overall environmental impact of paper tends to be higher. In addition, replacing plastic with paper can cause serious supply problems. Paper is a short-term solution to reduce the burden of packaging problems.


Q:Are paper bottles more expensive than plastic ones?

A: All paper products used for packaging usually cost 10-20 cents per piece. This is a huge challenge that hinders the adoption of paper packaging. To overcome this problem, the industry has been using a wider range of raw materials through the use of agricultural waste fibers as well as hardwood and cork fibers. It is hoped that through the use of waste fiber, the company can achieve more sustainability and reduce costs, thus reducing the price premium of products.


Q:Will plastic bottle suppliers be affected?

A: No, at least in the short term, it will be difficult for paper bottles to replace plastic bottles on a large scale. In the long run, I think the recycling technology will be greatly improved, which can improve the recovery rate of plastic bottles and other plastic packaging, so as to realize the circular economy of plastics. In this way, no other alternative material is likely to disrupt the plastics industry.


Q: What are the technical challenges of paper bottles?

A: The inside of the paper bottle requires coating or plastic lining to provide moisture barrier and resistance to other environmental factors. Although many companies claim that these layers can be easily separated for recyclability, we are skeptical of these claims given the challenges facing recycling plastic lined paper today and the possibility that companies do not use any technology to separate.

In addition, the caps and caps of these paper bottles are based on aluminum or plastic, so they need to be separated and sent to different recycling streams, which largely depends on effective collection and classification.

Many companies are adopting solutions to plastic waste problems. However, they have brought a series of new sustainability challenges. All alternative material solutions have issues related to them. So they just changed the packaging problem. In this way, paper packaging will continue to be used, but will never pose a material threat to plastics.


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