Paper juice bottle promises to squeeze out unsustainable packaging

05 Jul 2012

Your breakfast might be turning a shade greener with the introduction of what is said to be the world's first juice carton made from paper.

The packet, launched yesterday by UK firm GreenBottle, has a cardboard exterior with a thin, removable plastic lining, and is both fully recyclable and compostable – in stark contrast to many laminated cartons.

Few recycling facilities exist in the UK to deal with laminated packaging, which must be stripped of layers of plastic polyethylene and aluminium before being processed.

Only 40 per cent of UK councils pick up laminated cartons at the kerbside, according to The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, which also estimates that across Europe only 36 per cent of laminated cartons are recycled.

Worldwide, the figures are even worse: packaging giant Tetra Pak has calculated that of the 167 billion laminated cartons sold across the world last year, 131 billion ended up in landfill.

GreenBottle claims its pulp-moulded packet not only does away with this waste, but also results in a carbon footprint 23 per cent lower than laminated cartons.

A company spokeswoman told BusinessGreen it is already in the early stages of talking to retailers and manufacturers to develop the concept.

She added that as GreenBottle owns the intellectual property for both the design and manufacturing process, the bottles can be made anywhere a drinks manufacturer requires, reducing shipping costs and carbon impact.

The juice carton follows on from GreenBottle's paper milk bottle, currently on sale in Asda stores in the South-West, and its light-weight cardboard wine bottle, which should be on supermarket shelves by the end of the year after the company last week signed a deal with wine distributor Kingsland.

GreenBottle chairman Paul Bateman said the move into providing juice packaging represented a major step forward for the company as it executies on its strategy of providing paper packaging for "all suitable liquids".

"We have created not only an environmentally friendly packaging concept, but also a versatile, robust and commercially viable one," he said in a statement.

"Creating a process which does the packaging justice was a serious challenge. The downfall of many a great green product is the process used to create it – and we've cracked it."