As consumer product companies are coming under increasing pressure to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging, giant retailers are slowly starting to rethink the design of their products to the benefit of the environment.
Among the latest protagonists of such efforts to tackle plastic waste is Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits maker, which recently announced that its Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey will be available in fully-recyclable plastic-free bottles from early 2021.
The new bottle, developed in partnership with venture management company Pilot Lite, will be made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.
Diageo and Pilot Lite have launched a sustainable packaging company called Pulpex Ltd to develop the paper bottle and collaborate on research and development. Pulpex will also create branded paper-bottles in non-competing categories for companies including Lipton tea maker Unilever and soda maker PepsiCo, which are also expected to launch next year.
While Diageo uses less than 5 percent of the plastic in its total packaging, along with Unilever and PepsiCo, the company has set targets to reduce and recycle plastic in its packaging as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2025. And since it’s one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, the move will hopefully inspire others in the industry to follow in its footsteps.