Sweden-headed paper packaging materials- and solutions provider BillerudKorsnäs AB and Austria-headed plastic packaging solutions provider Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG (ALPLA) have announced that they will embark on a joint venture. They do so with the vision to develop a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle.
According to a statement, BillerudKorsnäs and ALPLA will form a joint venture in the Danish paper bottle company ecoXpac A/S. Subject to customary regulatory approvals such as merger control clearances, the transaction is expected to be completed in Q3 2019 and result in BillerudKorsnäs and ALPLA owning equal parts of ecoXpac. A minority post will be held by the founder family.
BillerudKorsnäs is currently the majority owner and has been a shareholder in the company since 2015. BillerudKorsnäs has been a driving force in the ongoing development of a paper bottle, which was started by ecoXpac in 2010 and with Carlsberg Group since 2015.
Sustainable packaging a shared ambition
ALPLA is a leading global company involved in plastic packaging providing custom-made packaging systems, bottles, closures and moulded parts at 178 sites across 46 countries. The packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils, and lubricants. The company also operates recycling plants in Austria, Poland, and Mexico.
With eight production plants in Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom (UK), BillerudKorsnäs is a provider of primary forest fibre-based packaging materials and solutions. Both ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs “share the ambition to drive packaging innovation in a sustainable direction.”
The two companies intend to leverage the development by combining their resources, competencies, and strengths to support scaling ecoXpac in the commercialisation of a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle.
With BillerudKorsnäs we have found an ambitious partner creating a new packaging market segment that offers a complementary consumer experience to our current rigid packaging solutions. ALPLA is sharing a passion for technical challenges and innovation. I want to emphasise the long-term vision of the joint venture to introduce fully biobased paper bottles. ALPLA is contributing capital as well as technical know-how to the joint venture to accelerate the development and market introduction of the paper bottle, said Günther Lehner, CEO of ALPLA.
Paper bottle scale-up
EcoXpac is specialised in designing, developing and implementing process solutions for moulded fibre bottles. In late 2016, Carlsberg Group revealed a first physical prototype of a paper bottle, the Green Fiber Bottle, and the first generation of paper bottles has since then been in a testing phase. The plan now is to continue the development to be able to launch and then scale up production.
EcoXpac was founded with a strong vision for the future. Today we are privileged to have the best players in their fields sharing our vision. It makes me proud of what we have achieved so far. The vision has never felt closer to reality than today, said Martin Grosen Petersen, CEO of ecoXpac.
Following generations will be both fully biobased and have biodegradable barriers thereby fully realising the vision and enabling consumers all over the world to live more sustainably. It is to realise this vision the two companies come together on this journey of innovation.
I believe that with our shared and honest ambition to break new ground, ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs now make an important commitment to contribute to a more sustainable future. The question is not “if” but rather “how soon” this joint venture will introduce a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle to the market. When we do, it will enable a significant shift in consumer behaviour globally, said Petra Einarsson, CEO and President BillerudKorsnäs.