7 July 2022. The startup company Blue Ocean Closures from Sweden is partnering with The Absolut Company to develop an innovative, fibre-based screw cap for the iconic Absolut Vodka bottle. Now the company is growing and is ready to recruit more employees.

Blue Ocean Closures, a member company of the world leading bioeconomy cluster Paper Province, is the first in the world to develop and produce fibre-based, biodegradable and recyclable screw closures. Now they are starting a collaboration with The Absolut Company, part of Pernod Ricard, to develop a fully recyclable screw cap, as an alternative to existing cap solutions. The innovative design, created from bio-based materials, is fully recyclable as paper and biodegradable in the ocean and nature.

“We are proud to partner with Absolut Vodka in bringing an alternative closure to the market. My first job was on the factory floor at Absolut, so from my own experience I know that quality is put in focus, at all levels,” says Lars Sandberg, CEO Blue Ocean Closures.

Fully circular operations by 2025
The collaboration is part of a broad ambition of The Absolut Company and Pernod Ricard to create a fully circular business together with suppliers and partners, with the goal that one hundred percent of the company’s packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025.

“As part of our circular efforts, we are delighted to be working with Blue Ocean Closures on innovative packaging development that contributes to a cleaner world and reduces the need for single-use materials,” says Eric Näf, Director of Packaging Development at The Absolut Company.

“We are very excited to be working with a leading global brand like Absolut Vodka that has such a strong focus on sustainability. They add extensive knowledge to our development process”, says Lars Sandberg.

Blue Ocean Closures is growing
Now, Blue Ocean Closures is growing and is starting a recruitment process with the hope of finding three more talents based in Sweden; one operator and two project managers to run customer and development projects. The company is looking for both seniors and juniors and is open to recruiting directly from the university.

“We are looking for persons who are independent, want to develop the closures of the future and have a genuine interest in the environment. We want to find people who have the right motivation and want to be part of making this change,” says Lars Sandberg.

Glatfelter has announced further progress in its partnership with Blue Ocean Closures (BOC) and ALPLA Group after securing a deal with The Absolut Company to develop an a natural fibre-based screw cap for Absolut Vodka’s iconic bottle.

Glatfelter and ALPLA will support BOC and their partnership with The Absolut Company by developing a cellulose-based cap that will be used on Absolut Vodka’s existing glass bottles. These uniquely designed caps will be made from airlaid material, resulting in a product that is recyclable and ocean biodegradable. Prototyping and final design of the caps will be completed in 022, with plans to launch commercially in 2023.

The caps are designed to optimize the use of renewable and recyclable wood fibers, and airlaid materials and have allowed this partnership to successfully generate plant-based caps that are durable, water-resistant, and completely biodegradable. The method of proprietary vacuum press forming allows for low production cost and high scalability to support the growing global need for sustainable packaging.

“This partnership brings together like-minded companies that share similar sustainability goals focused on protecting our environment through the use of natural fiber-based materials,” said Chris Astley, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of Glatfelter. “We are excited to expand our partnership with ALPLA and BOC, now working with Absolut Vodka, to make more innovative and eco-friendly packaging solutions that will benefit generations to come.”

“We know that collaboration across the whole value chain sits at the heart of long-term progress and true environmental, economic, and social impact,” added Eric Näf, Director of Packaging Development at The Absolut Company. “As part of our circular way of thinking, we are delighted to be working with BOC to continue designing our single-use materials and using packaging innovation for the benefit of the planet.”

In addition, Glatfelter has been nominated as a finalist for the 2022 Packaging Europe Sustainability Award in the Recyclable Packaging (Pre-Commercialized) category for its partnership with BOC and ALPLA for their sustainable, fibre-based screw caps. This prestigious sustainability award is given to companies that demonstrate excellence in sustainability, innovation, and outstanding contributions to the packaging industry. Winners of this award will be revealed at the Innovation Horizon event held on November 14-15, 2022, in Amsterdam.