The paper bottle trend continues: Hot on the heels of other global brands developing paper bottles for laundry detergent, Procter & Gamble’s Fabric & Home Care division has unveiled its first paper bottle prototype for the Lenor brand, developed in partnership with paper bottle manufacturer Paboco.

The bottle will debut in a pilot trial for Western Europe in 2022, according to P&G, with the trial rollout forming the basis of a test and learn strategy to scale up paper packaging and incorporate it more widely across P&G’s portfolio.

This forms part of P&G's overall commitment to reducing plastics in packaging. In line with its 2030 Ambition strategy, the multinational personal care and home care giant aims to reduce its use of virgin plastics by 50% by 2030. 

The company says brand-led packaging alternatives and pilot schemes are a crucial element in the pathways to lowering environmental impact.

From Paboco's side, its paper bottle technology is reported to be advancing quickly and promises to reduce and replace plastic content while lowering carbon footprint compared to conventional plastic packaging.

The company says this alternative form of packaging is “increasingly viable and scaling at pace”.  It is backed by leading consumer goods companies and industry experts including The Coca-Cola Company, Carlsberg Group, The Absolut Company, L’Oréal, BillerudKorsnäs, and ALPLA, united by the vision to create the world's first 100% bio-based and recyclable paper bottle at scale.

Speaking on behalf of Paboco, interim CEO Gittan Schiöld said: “Our vision is to change this industry for good, and to create a world less dependent on plastic and without plastic waste, by designing for circularity and inventing packaging from bio-based materials.

“Storing liquids in paper is particularly challenging, but its successful adoption could have major benefits for the planet. Having P&G Fabric & Home Care category as a partner in the paper bottle community is a huge boost to that vision. Not only does it really add weight to the viability of the technology but brings with it P&G’s know-how to the table, offering new opportunities for scaling Paboco’s paper bottle technology.”

P&G senior VP of R&D for Global Fabric & Home Care Sector Jerry Porter said the company is excited to join this group of packaging innovators.

“This is another milestone on our P&G Fabric & Home Care journey to innovate towards more sustainable packaging formats. Our chosen pilot brand Lenor has a great track record of incorporating recycled plastic into its packaging, already using up to 100% in its European transparent bottles. Now we aim to go a step further with bio-based packaging, which has a very promising future. We are delighted to be on this journey with our partners in the development of the next generations of paper bottles.”

According to Paboco, Lenor’s first paper bottle reduces plastic compared to a bottle used today. The bottle is the first of its kind produced at scale, in its design and technology, made from sustainably sourced FSC-certified paper and initially a thin plastic barrier made from post-consumer recycled PET. Building on learnings from this milestone, future versions of the bottle will integrate the barrier into the paper lining to create a seamless, 100% bio-based bottle, fully recyclable in the paper stream.

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