World’s ‘first ever’ 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle will debut next year

Drinks giant Diageo announced that the bottle will be made entirely from sustainably sourced wood and will debut early next year with its Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker.

Created through a new partnership with venture management company Pilot Lite, the team have launched Pulpex Limited, a sustainable packaging technology company.

Pulpex Limited also established a partner consortium of world leading FMCG companies including Unilever, and PepsiCo, so the creation can be used with other brands.

It expects to announce more partners later this year.

The consortium expects to launch its own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, in 2021.

Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer of Diageo said that the drinks giant was “proud” to have created a “world first”.

“We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking,” he said.

Designed to be 100% plastic-free and fully recyclable, Pulpex Limited’s scalable paper-based bottle is the ‘first-of-its-kind’.

The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safety standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. 

The bottle has been described as ‘the first-of-its-kind’. (Diageo)

It is hoped that the environmentally-friendly technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product.

Mr Andrew also described it as “fitting” that it would launch with Johnnie Walker, a brand that traces its routes back 200 years.

While most Johnnie Walker is sold in glass bottles, the firm is looking for ways of using less plastic across its brands.

Making bottles from glass consumes a lot of energy and creates carbon emissions. Many glass furnaces use natural gas to melt raw materials such as sand and limestone.

According to ING analysts, 8.2 million tonnes of plastic were used to package food and drink in 2018.

Pulpex Limited’s technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mould bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods.

The packaging has been designed to contain a variety of liquid products and will form part of Diageo’s commitment towards Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.

The news comes as Carlsberg announced it is developing a paper beer bottle and UK firm Frugalpac announced it was producing paper wine bottles made from recycled paper with a “food grade liner”.

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