Diageo launches ‘world first’ plastic-free spirits bottle

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Brand Johnnie Walker will be the first to use the new packaging
Brand Johnnie Walker will be the first to use the new packaging

Related tags Drinks

Drinks giant Diageo has unveiled the “world’s first” 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle, according to the company, which will debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021.

The packaging launch is part of a new partnership between Diageo and venturemanagement business Pilot Lite, called Pulpex Limited. 

It has developed the scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic-free and expected to be fully recyclable.  

The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. The technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single-mould bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods. 


Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world-leading fast-moving consumers goods (FMCG) companies in non-competing categories, including Unilever, and PepsiCo. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles in 2021.

The move followed news that British packaging manufacturer Frugalpac has launched a new paper wine and spirits bottle​ made from 94% recycled cardboard. 

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer of 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.”


Innovation and collaboration

Richard Slater, chief research & development 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.”

Sandy Westwater, managing director of 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.”


Related topics Packaging & Labelling

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