Drinks giant Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has revealed that it has created the world's first 100% plastic-free spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.
Partnering with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, Diageo has launched sustainable packaging technology company Pulpex Limited. Pulpex's paper-based bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp, meets food-safe standards and is fully recyclable.
The bottle will debut with the Johnnie Walker brand in early 2021.
Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer at Diageo, 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."
The new packaging forms part of Diageo's commitment towards Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production'.
Pulpex has also established a partner consortium of FMCG companies in non-competing categories, including Unilever and PepsiCo, with further partners expected to be announced later in the year. Partners are expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles in 2021.
Richard Slater, chief R&D officer at Unilever, added: "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."
Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo, commented: "Innovative solutions and partnerships are critical to driving meaningful progress towards 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."
Sandy Westwater, director at 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."