Paper Bottles Could Make Coca-Cola Plastic and Waste-Free by 2030

Tim Ebl

Tests are underway on new drink containers now

Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

Last year, Coca-Cola was named one of the top plastic polluters in the world. That’s because 51 out of 55 countries found plastic Coca-Cola bottles all over the place. PepsiCo and Nestle were right behind them. It isn’t a title to be proud of.

As part of the survey, 15,000 volunteers for the charity Break Free From Plastic looked on sidewalks, streets, beaches, parks, and trails around the world. The verdict? Coca-Cola-loving culprits tossed their drink containers everywhere. The company’s label was found on all of the reported items, leaving no doubt about who the manufacturer was.

Plastic waste is a big problem. In the United States in 2010, each person was responsible for almost a pound of plastic trash per day.

Everyone seems to ignore that losers throw their garbage on the ground because they are selfish and careless. It’s easier to blame the company that made the bottles, although they need to take responsibility for their part in all of this. If you make a product that everyone loves, but it’s harming the environment, you need to take steps.

Coca-Cola wants to change their poor showing, and they are taking significant steps forward with their new paper container project.

Their target is to produce zero waste by the year 2030. It’s an ambitious goal, and it will take new manufacturing methods to pull it off. That’s why they are working with a Danish company called Paboco (Paper Bottle Company)to build a bottle out of paper.

What Will A Paper Bottle Look Like?

The current prototype still contains a thin plastic layer inside. The ultimate goal will be to develop a container made completely from biodegradable materials without plastic in either the liner or lid.

The challenge is to keep the material from getting into the drink while at the same time being able to withstand shock, pressure, and impacts.

The final product needs to hold the beverage without changing the flavor or letting it go stale before it expires.

It has to contain the gases that give the soda its pop. This is a unique problem with carbonated drinks. The forces exerted on the inside when the bottle gets shaken up are a lot higher than a water bottle ever sees, for instance.

And if that isn’t enough to ask, the exterior needs to take ink to see the fancy Coca-Cola logo, ingredients list, and other vital information. Otherwise, it might still end up with a plastic label glued on the outside.

Image by Liselotte Brunner from Pixabay

They’ve Been Working On This For Years

There is nothing quick about developing a product this challenging. It took seven years to create the new bottle. Now it needs a real-world test to find out if their hard work paid off.

Coca-Cola will start with an initial run of 2000 made this summer in Hungary. It will have to make it through all of the stages successfully, from bottling, to transport, to display, to sales and consumption. We’ll see how it pans out.

Meanwhile, other companies will be testing the new bottle too. Absolut will be doing its own run to try with an alcoholic raspberry drink.

It’s a Step Forward, But…

While less plastic is a step forward, parts of these bottles are still a waste. To start with, there will be the plastic liner that functions as a barrier to keep the drink in and the world out. And then there’s the screw cap, which will be the same old plastic version that we all know from existing bottles.

The other problem is retooling the entire industry to a new type of container. Lare changes like this aren’t easy, mainly since the existing system works pretty efficiently. It’s hard to say how long it will take to see all of these changes take place.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Final Thoughts

This needs to happen if society wants to move away from using so much plastic. In a few years, we will see a different kind of bottle in the store with any luck. But is a biodegradable container really the answer?

Then we will see ugly piles of partially degraded bottles lying about in a few years. A walk on the beach might mean stumbling over lumps of paper. Walking down a trail will mean sidestepping dog poop and over paper wads.

How about this solution: Don’t throw your trash on the ground!

If you’re driving, don’t roll down the window and toss your junk to make it someone else’s problem. Please keep it in the car until you reach your destination and a trash can or recycling box.

Put things in the appropriate container, you ingrates. Stop junking up the world with your leftovers and act like sensible beings who care.

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I'm an author, yoga enthusiast, and meditation instructor. I spend a lot of time outdoors with activities like running, hiking and camping. My writing is all about the humorous side of life and personal growth, habits ,mindfulness, and outdoor adventures.


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