PORTLAND, Ore. — It's a growing trend: replacing plastics with biodegradable paper products.
Take for example those biodegradable straws you now get in many restaurants. Well, someday soon, you may be drinking your soda out of a paper bottle. An international company with a design lab in Portland is working on that very concept.
Billerudkorsnas is the international company behind the innovation. Although based in Sweden, one of its design labs is located in Southwest Portland.
Engineers at the Portland lab test the durability of paper-based packaging as an alternative to plastic packaging. The cardboard and other paper-based products are designed to be just as strong as, if not stronger than, plastic or Styrofoam. Engineers overseas are testing out the paper bottle.
The company claims it would be the world's first 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable paper bottle for carbonated beverages.
"They've been able to have the bottle hold carbonation and the pressure that it takes and that's quite a bit of engineering to do that... there's challenges because it hasn't been done before," explained marketing manager Kathy Guilfoyle.
As for any criticism that the practice means a lot more trees being cut down, the company said for every one tree it cuts down to make its paper products, it plants three.