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Diageo debuts 100% plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle

Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has created the world’s first 100% plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably-sourced wood. The bottle will debut with Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch whisky, in early 2021.

Diageo has formed a new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex, a new sustainable packaging technology company. To ensure the technology can be used in every area of life, Pulpex has established a partner consortium of world-leading FMCG companies in non-competing categories including Unilever and PepsiCo, with further partners expected to be announced later in the year.

The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex’s design and technology, in 2021.

Pulpex has developed a ‘first-of-its-kind’ scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. The technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, while not compromising on the existing quality of the product.

“We’re proud to have created this world first,” said Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer, 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.”

Pulpex’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.

Sandy Westwater, director, Pilot Lite said: “We’re thrilled to be working with global brand leaders in this consortium. By working together, we can use the collective power of the brands to help minimise the environmental footprint of packaging by changing manufacturing and consumer behaviours.”

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