Diageo to launch paper bottle with Johnnie Walker

Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, announced on Monday it has created “the world’s first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.”

Diageo said the bottle will make its debut with Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky, in early 2021.

The news came as Diageo announced a new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a new 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,” said Diageo.

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

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.”

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.”

Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer, PepsiCo, said: “Innovative solutions and partnerships are critical to driving meaningful progress toward a circular economy.

“The Pulpex consortium is well positioned to deliver sustainable packaging at scale and across industries, having impact beyond what any organization could achieve alone. We’re proud to be a part of it.” 

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.