paper whisky bottle
The consortium that has developed the molded pulp bottle expects product rollouts to begin in 2021.
Image provided by Diageo PLC.

Diageo lifts a pulp-based bottle to recycling

Spirits firm says its molded pulp bottle will be “fully recyclable in standard waste streams.”

London-based spirits producer Diageo PLC says it has helped create a wood pulp-based spirits bottle, made entirely from what it calls sustainably sourced wood. The bottle will debut with Johnnie Walker brand scotch whisky in early 2021. Diageo has a global product line that also includes Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout beer.

The bottle was produced in partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, by Pulpex Ltd. That firm, which calls itself a “sustainable packaging technology company,” has established a partner consortium of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, 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 in 2021, says Pulpex.

The firm says the bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.  On its website, Pulpex describes its bottles as “sustainable, scalable, single-mold branded designs without material compromise that significantly reduce the reliance of single-use plastics.” 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, states the company.

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

Comments Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer of Diageo, “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.”