• Before and after: Johnnie Walker Black Label will be the first 100 per cent plastic free, paper-based spirits bottle.
    Before and after: Johnnie Walker Black Label will be the first 100 per cent plastic free, paper-based spirits bottle.
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Alcohol giant Diageo has partnered with Pilot Lite to launch Pulpex Limited – a sustainable packaging technology company – and will release the first 100 per cent plastic free, paper-based spirits bottle for its Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch whisky. 

The bottle will debut in early 2021, with Diageo working with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, which will see “a consortium of non-competing FMCG companies” – including Unilever and PepsiCo – partner to further develop the technology.

Pulpex Limited’s paper-based bottle is 100 per cent plastic free and made from sustainably sourced pulp, which meets food-safe standards, and is expected to be fully recyclable.

Before and after: Johnnie Walker Black Label will be the first 100 per cent plastic free, paper-based spirits bottle.
Before and after: Johnnie Walker Black Label will be the first 100 per cent plastic free, paper-based spirits bottle.

It aims to allow brands to “rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper,” without compromising on the product quality.

Diageo PLC chief sustainability officer Ewan Andrew said the team was proud to have created a world-first. 

“We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking,” Andrew said.

“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.”

Pilot Lite director Sandy Westwater said the company was thrilled to be working with global brand leaders and that 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”.

The consortium partners are also expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology next year.

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