Zotefoams said a one-litre ReZorce beverage carton used half the energy and water required for a traditional LPB carton

Soft drinks supplier Refresco is to trial the use of a new “mono-material barrier” beverage carton in an unnamed major European retailer.

The project, undertaken with cellular materials technology specialist Zotefoams, will assess the suitability of the carton for commercial use as an alternative to liquid packaging board (LPB) cartons, widely used in drinks packaging.

Unlike standard LPB cartons, which need to be separated and processed at specialist facilities due to their multi-material nature, the new ‘ReZorce’ cartons were fully recyclable via mainstream collections and met the requirements of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, Zotefoams said.

Citing peer-reviewed life cycle assessments, Zotefoams said a one-litre ReZorce beverage carton used half the energy and water required for a traditional LPB carton, and had a global warming potential that was 55% lower.

It added it was “extremely hopeful” the new cartons would hit retail shelves this year, but was unable to confirm an exact launch date for Refresco’s EU supermarket trial.

“The traditional beverage carton was launched in the 1950s and its design is fundamentally the same today,” said Neil Court-Johnston, president of Zotefoams’ MuCell Extrusion business unit, which produces the technology used in ReZorce. “The barrier properties of ReZorce lend themselves to a number of packaging applications but we chose to focus on beverage cartons because we could not see anyone, anywhere, trying to deliver circularity.”

For its trial, Refresco has converted a machine designed for traditional composite beverage cartons, which is now undergoing quality and compliance testing ahead of a supermarket trial.

Brands were “looking for more sustainable solutions, choice, recyclability, and a partner who is looking to be a frontrunner and take some risk”, said Refresco chief purchasing officer Coert Michielsen. “That’s the frontrunner we want to be.”

In a bid to scale the innovation, Zotefoams has partnered with Südpack Verpackungen, signing a contract that will see the German packaging manufacturer supply up to 100 million ReZorce cartons annually.

The race to provide more sustainable drinks carton packaging – following the adoption of the new EU packaging and packaging waste regulation in spring this year – has been heating up in recent months.

Tetra Pak, a leading manufacturer of LPB packaging, invested more than €40m in beverage carton recycling initiatives in 2023.

This included projects in Sweden, Spain, and the Netherlands to boost recycling rates of its composite cartons, which are made from paperboard, aluminium and plastic, and the development of cartons made from a higher percentage of recycled and recyclable paper-based materials.

In November, it teamed up with Lactogal to unveil an aseptic beverage carton featuring a paper-based barrier, which uses 90% renewable content. It hopes to be able to scale the innovation for industrial use by 2025.

If you’ve got a fantastic new product or packaging innovation, we want to hear about it! The deadline for The Grocer New Product & Packaging Awards is 17 June, so get your entries in. Visit to enter, buy tickets or enquire about sponsorship opportunities.