Johnnie Walker will be sold in paper bottles

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Getty Images / Diageo

Johnnie Walker, whiskey that dates back over 150 years, will soon be sold in paper bottles.

Diageo, the beverage giant that owns the brand, said it plans to test the new packaging starting next year.

He said the bottles will be plastic-free as part of efforts to make the packaging of beverages more sustainable.

He is co-launching a company called Pulpex, which will also manufacture paper bottles for Unilever and PepsiCo.

Diageo’s paper whiskey bottle, which will be tested in the spring of 2021, will be made from wood pulp and will be fully recyclable, the company said.

The idea is that customers could drop them off directly for recycling.

Beverage companies have developed paper bottles to try to reduce plastic pollution.

Carlsberg is developing a paper beer bottle.

The British company Frugalpac produces paper wine bottles which it claims are made from recycled paper with a “food grade coating”.

However, beverage giant Coca-Cola said in January that it would not abandon single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them.

Plastic free

Diageo said its bottles will be made by pressurizing the dough in molds which will then be hardened in microwave ovens.

The bottles will be sprayed inside with coatings designed not to interact with the drinks they contain.

Many paper cartons have a plastic coating on the inside to prevent leakage of beverages. Diageo, however, has stated that its beverage bottles will not have this plastic coating.

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Getty Images

Legend

Some large food and beverage producers are trying to reduce plastic pollution


Diageo will launch Pulpex with venture capital management company Pilot Lite and work in consortium with other large food and beverage companies such as Unilever and PepsiCo to develop paper bottles.

Unilever and PepsiCo are expected to use their own branded Pulpex bottles for their products in 2021.

Companies are under increasing pressure to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging, with consumers increasingly focusing on damage to ecosystems.

In Europe, 8.2 million tonnes of plastic were used to package food and drink in 2018, according to ING analysts.

Diageo, which also makes Guinness and Smirnoff vodka, said it uses less than 5% plastic in its total packaging.

With Unilever and PepsiCo, it has set targets for plastic reduction and recycling as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2025.

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