International drinks giant Diageo is to partially switch to paper-based bottles in a bid to phase out plastic usage, but it will not be including its iconic Irish brands Guinness or Baileys in the initial roll-out next year.
Instead, Diageo will be focusing on its Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker to road-test the world’s first ever 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle.
Made from sustainably sourced wood, the first such Johnnie Walker bottle will launch early next year.
Diageo will initially focus on bottles for its spirit brands.
There are no immediate plans for Baileys or Guinness to be sold in the new bottles.
The paper-based bottles are being made by a company called Pulpex. This is a newly-established consortium comprising Diageo, PepsiCo, consumer goods giant Unilever and venture management company Pilot Lite.
Each of the consortium partners are planning to launch existing products in the new packaging format and will use the fully recyclable packaging for new product.
Unilever said such packaging designs will help it to reduce its plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes over the next five years.
"The Pulpex consortium is well-positioned to deliver sustainable packaging at scale and across industries, having impact beyond what any organisation could achieve alone," said PepsiCo's chief sustainability officer Simon Lowden.
Diageo’s chief sustainability officer Ewan Andrew said the new bottle has the potential to be “truly ground-breaking”.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo has beaten analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue and profit, on the back of people stocking up on its snack products to help them through Covid restrictions.
-additional reporting Reuters