Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, claims that the bottle is made entirely from sustainably sourced wood. It is expected to debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021.

The announcement comes on the heels of Diageo’s new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a sustainable packaging technology company. To ensure that the technology can be used in ‘every area of life’, Pulpex Limited 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 Limited’s design and technology, in 2021.

Pulpex Limited has developed what it claims is 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. 

As per the official press release shared with CauseBecause, the 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.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer, Diageo PLC, said: ‘We’re proud to have created this world-first. 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 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.

Richard Slater, chief R&D officer, Unilever, said: ‘We believe in tackling plastic waste through innovation and collaboration. We are going to halve our use of virgin plastic at Unilever, reducing our use of plastic packaging by more than 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.’

Sandy Westwater, director, Pilot Lite said, ‘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.’