Diageo announces 'world's first' 100% plastic-free spirits bottle

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

13 July 2020

The drinks giant has formed Pulpex Limited to launch a paper-based bottle which will debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021

Diageo has partnered with Pilot Lite (a venture management company) to launch Pulpex Limited, a new world-leading sustainable packaging technology company. A consortium of global FMCG companies,  including PepsiCo and Unilever, will help develop the technology and launch their own branded paper bottles based on the technology in 2021.

The Pulpex Limited bottle has been made entirely from sustainably sourced wood and is claimed to be a 'first-of-its-kind' scalable paper-based bottle, expected to be fully recyclable. The technology behind the desing is said to allow other brands to rethink their packaging (or move existing designs into paper) by producing a variety of single-mould bottles that can be used across a range of goods.

'We’re proud to have created this world first,' said Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer at Diageo. 'We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking. It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.'

Richard Slater, chief R&D officer at Unilever has announced that the company will be halving its use of virgin plastic, reducing its use of plastic packaging by over 100,000 tonnes in the next five years. 'Joining forces to develop and test paper bottles is an incredibly exciting step forward, and we’re delighted to be working together to tackle one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,' he commented.

PepsiCo's chief sustainability officer Simon Lowden emphasised the scale at which the Pulpex Limited consortium can impact the packaging industry: 'Innovative solutions and partnerships are critical to driving meaningful progress toward a circular economy. The Pulpex consortium is well positioned to deliver sustainable packaging at scale and across industries, having impact beyond what any organisation could achieve alone. We’re proud to be a part of it.'

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