Denmark: Carlsberg tests cardboard beer bottle and glued cans

Carlsberg makes a major step forward in sustainability by launching the first biodegradable beer bottle in the world and glued beer cans which are no longer wrapped in plastic.

The new cardboard beer bottle, which was already announced at Carlsberg’s Sustainable Brands 2016 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is now ready for being sold to consumers. The pilot phase for the Green Fiber Bottle will start next year with between 10,000 and 20,000 bottles in selected pilot markets. The bottles will be produced in Denmark but it is not yet decided in which markets the bottles will be tested.

The manufacturing process of the bottles begins with the shredding of waste paper, which is first processed into papier-mâché. The mass is then poured into bottle molds and must be allowed to dry. The bottle itself, the coating inside the bottle and the bottle cap are completely biodegradable and should decompose into non-harmful components within five years. Nevertheless, Carlsberg plans to introduce a take-back system for the disposable bottle, as it already exists for cans.

As part of the work of the Carlsberg Circular Community, Carlsberg kicked off the development project in 2015 with Danish packaging company EcoXpac. Carlsberg has developed the packaging design presented together with the Danish industrial design studio Kilo. The project is supported by the Danish Innovation Fund and the Technical University of Denmark.

The other new packing concept, called Snap Pack, was presented on Wednesday in Carlsberg’s original brewery in Copenhagen. CEO Clees t' Hart and Carlsberg's sustainability director Simon Boas Hoffmeyer presented the new four-, six- and eight-pack of cans held together not with plastic wrap, but with glue dots. Customers can simply 'snap' away a can from the pack, while the glue can then be left on the cans to be removed during the recycling process. The new packaging was developed in collaboration with packaging firm KHS from Germany (, 8.3.2018) and will be launched immediately in the UK and Norway, before being rolled out to Denmark and later also other markets in the world.

Snap Pack will reduce plastic use across the three test markets by between 50 and 76 percent. "It's a radical reduction in materials for a multipack," said Boas Hoffmeyer. "We haven't seen anything like this before." Still, the Snap Pack needs a plastic carry handle, which needs to be replaced in a later stage of development. "We have looked at it, and we couldn't find a good solution for now. But if we were to wait before launching something until everything is perfect, we wouldn't be launching anything until 2030, “said Carlsberg's sustainability director.

The new products complement Carlsberg sustainability program Together Towards ZERO, which was launched last year: (, 13.6.2017)

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