BELGIUM – Coca-Cola’s EMEA R&D Center in Brussels has announced a partnership with Blue Ocean Closures, a start-up with a global mission to reduce plastic in packaging closures.

In line with its ambitions to advance sustainable packaging and reduce the use of non-renewable materials, while supporting its ambitious World Without Waste strategy, Coca-Cola is joining Blue Ocean Closures’ community of pioneering partners.

The move will see Blue Ocean Closures introduce a fiber-based packaging screw cap that is biobased and recyclable, similar to paper.

Daphné Ronat, Packaging Engineer at the Coca-Cola EMEA R&D Center in Brussels, Belgium, expressed her excitement about being part of the pioneer community and contributing to the testing and development of this innovation as it continues to evolve.

“It aligns with our sustainability strategy and our ongoing exploration of future packaging technologies that could complement our existing packaging options in our overall packaging mix,” said Ronat.

Lars Sandberg, CEO of Blue Ocean Closures, stated, “In order for us to achieve success with this innovative transition away from fossil-based plastics, it is crucial to have the support of global brands that have the ambition and capability to create a significant impact.”

In May, Blue Ocean Closures and its partners introduced what they assert to be the inaugural paperboard tube with a closure made from fiber. This innovative product is said to be composed of more than 85% fibers.

All the components of the new tube have been designed for recyclability. The fiber-based screw cap, developed by Blue Ocean Closures and accelerated through a design project involving Karlstad University and partially funded by BioInnovation, is being applied to Stora Enso’s Natura Shape barrier-coated board material. The final pack is assembled by AISA.

By utilizing wood fiber, this concept aims to reduce the amount of plastic used in tube packaging and instead increase the use of renewable materials.

It is reported that the fiber content claims to be the highest proportion available for a tube design in the current market, at 85%. It is set to be commercially available in 2024.

It is expected that the tube will be used in the cosmetics, personal care, and home care industries.

Meanwhile, in April, Blue Ocean joined a Swedish research project aimed at replacing metal jar lids with bio-based materials.

Blue Ocean Closures states that currently, there are no alternatives to metal screw lids for certain product types.

The project is based on the hypothesis that a concept for recyclable lids made of paper fibers would fulfill the requirements and market demands for more environmentally sustainable solutions.

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