pulpex paper bottle
Molded pulp bottles will compete with glass and PET plastic in the beverage market, say Pulpex and Stora Enso.
Image provided by Stora Enso, Pulpex Limited and Aspectus Group.

Stora Enso commits to molded pulp application

European papermaker strikes alliance with Pulpex, a molded pulp bottle technology provider.

May 11, 2021

Finland-based papermaker Stora Enso Oyj says it has joined forces with United Kingdom-based molded pulp packaging technology company Pulpex “to industrialize the production of eco-friendly paper bottles and containers made from wood fiber pulp.” Molded pulp products also can be made with recycled-content pulp.

The products to be produced “will offer an alternative to PET [polyethylene terephthalate] plastics and glass,” say the two firms. They add that their partnership “leverages Stora Enso’s formed fiber technologies and ability to convert end products at an industrial scale.”

Pulpex was established by spirits producer Diageo and and Pilot Lite, a venture management company. The partnership aims for large-scale industrial production of what it calls recyclable paper bottles and containers.

“Produced with sustainably sourced formed fiber pulp, the bottles and containers would enable a significantly lower carbon footprint compared with glass or PET,” state the firms.

“We see great potential in combining development skills of Pulpex with our industrial capabilities,” says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, senior vice president of formed fiber at Stora Enso. “This cooperation marks an important step in bringing to market a truly sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and containers, while offering end-user qualities that match those of traditional packaging in the beverage market.”

Using Stora Enso molded fiber, Pulpex says it will produce paper bottles for “an array of global brands across a variety of market applications, from homecare and personal care products to alcohol- and non-alcohol beverages and liquid foods.”

The customizable Pulpex bottle allow for embossing, labelling and colored pigments to fit brand needs “and easily integrates into any packaging manufacturer’s existing filling infrastructure,” say the two companies.

“We are delighted to have Stora Enso involved with Pulpex and are looking forward to the tangible benefits of such a formidable collaboration that will undoubtedly help us over the coming months as we seek to make our new, high-speed production lines available to all our partners”, says Scott Winston, director of Pulpex.

Pulpex says several consumer products companies, including Diageo, PepsiCo, Unilever, GSK Consumer Healthcare and Castrol, have committed to incorporating Pulpex technology into their branded packaging and collectively aim to produce 750 million paper bottles per year.

On its website, Pulpex describes its molded pulp bottles as suitable for curbside recycling programs “and standard recycling with no new infrastructure required.”