The Paper Bottle project

What if your favourite soda came in a paper bottle?

A paper bottle in every hand – that’s what the future holds if the paper bottle project succeeds. At Billerud, we challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future by driving innovation through collaboration. One such initiative is our collaboration with Paboco, the paper bottle company.

Paboco is an innovation spearhead initiative launched in 2019 with a sole purpose – change the industry for good by developing recyclable and 100% biobased paper bottles at scale

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In the journey towards the next-generation paper bottle, together with Paboco - Paper Bottle Community, another significant milestone has been achieved. Building upon Paboco's first prototype in May 2021, substantial progress has been made, turning the initial concept into a reality with production that started in 2023.

An exciting leap forward in this endeavor is the cutting-edge paper closure, developed in collaboration with Blue Ocean Closures, bringing us one step closer to the ultimate goal of creating a fully recyclable and biobased paper bottle.

Additionally, the focus over the past year has been on perfecting the application method of the barrier coating on the bottle's inner surface, especially for challenging products like carbonated beverages. To address these challenges, Pabocco is actively developing the barrier material.

We are very proud to share the next generation bottles with a fitting fiber closure. This sets another milestone in our defined development journey towards a fully fiber based bottle in every hand. Next, we will startup our developed coating line and build manufacturing equipment to enable mass production for market introduction in 2023
Florian Müller, CTO at Paboco.

Connecting the world’s leading experts

The project began in 2015, when Billerud, Carlsberg and innovation expert EcoXpac joined forces after having worked in parallel on similar projects. To move closer to the vision and align the efforts of all stakeholders, the project was eventually transformed into the separate innovation company, Paboco, where Billerud and bottle specialist manufacturer Alpla are main owners, and where the EcoXpac founder family is represented as a minority shareholder.

Now, as a project collaborator, Billerud is one of several world-leading players sharing our joint expertise in materials, barriers, design and technology. Working closely together with the Paboco community of pioneering brand owners. Our shared vision is to create the world's first 100 percent recyclable paper bottle for liquid content and even carbonated beverages.

Rising to the challenges

From idea to design, production and finished product, the challenges are many. Today, Billerud plays an active role in the project by addressing three out of eight key challenges in the innovation process

A bio-based barrier

A bio-based barrier that withstands both water vapour and oxygen transmission. Use of materials that encourage recycling and in the future designed to be returned to nature without harm. To have a working barrier is mandatory, but as often in innovation projects we improve details over time as we learn along the way to create an optimal solution.

The perfect pulp recipe

A fiber blend - sustainably sourced strong Nordic virgin fibers developed to hold carbonated beverages and still look beautiful. To find the proper mix for a bottle of moulded pulp, we conducted hundreds of tests in our Pulp Lab. Using a variety of wood fiber that resulted in a special version of a standard pine pulp mixture.

Pulp 3D moulding

Pulp 3D moulding of wood based fibers with amazing design details and accuracy showing the beauty of paper. Through steam assistant drying process, and Billerud’s pulp recipe, the paper bottle can be moulded in one piece, providing world-unique properties both in terms of shape and functionality.

Reaching for our vision

So, what if your favourite soda came in a paper bottle? Your skin lotion ? And what if it could help push the bottle industry in a more sustainable direction? A paper bottle is, of course, an achievement in itself. And we seriously believe it will become a game-changer in the packaging industry. One that will improve your favourite products and change the retail experience as we know it.

At Billerud, we believe that working together with Paboco and all involved experts is the best way to capture new opportunities and co-create the future of sustainable packaging.

Welcome to follow us on our journey.

See also

Providing the perfect pulp for Paboco’s paper bottle project

To make a paper bottle the world has never imagined you need an outstanding raw material that make it possible. Together with innovation expert...


Started in 2019, Paboco is a joint venture between paper packaging material developer Billerud and bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.

Billerud and ALPLA to join forces to pioneer paper bottles for a sustainable future

Billerud and ALPLA today announced that they will form a joint venture in the Danish paper bottle company ecoXpac.