Biodegradable Pulp-Based Bottle
Pilot Lite and Diageo collaborated to establish Pulpex, a sustainable packaging technology company that has developed a patented, first-of-its-kind, single-mould paper bottle that is being adopted for use by a consortium of global CPGs.
In response to growing concern over plastic waste, governments are increasingly implementing regulations around packaging and plastics that will ultimately affect consumer choice. For example, today there are single-use plastic bans scheduled or already implemented in more than 120 countries around the world.
In addition, CSR and sustainability are now considered fundamental inclusions in corporate strategy. Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has set an aggressive goal for 100 percent of its packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Diageo enlisted Pilot Lite to evaluate environmentally friendly, scalable alternatives to glass and plastic (PET) packaging capable of holding non-carbonated liquids (with a pH range of 2-10 and up to 50% ABV). When no complete solution could be identified, Pilot Lite assisted Diageo in developing a bespoke prototype of a single-mould, PET-free, pulp-based bottle.
Pilot Lite then validated the innovation and began the commercialisation process, establishing Pulpex Limited in collaboration with Diageo to deliver much-needed and highly anticipated eco-packaging category change. To facilitate the widest possible adoption, Pilot Lite created a consortium of corporates in non-competing categories, including PepsiCo and Unilever, that will utilise the Pulpex sustainable packaging technology for certain brands.
Renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, the Pulpex bottle will deliver significant improvements on the carbon footprint of glass bottles (90% savings) and PET (30% savings), remove harmful plastic fibres from the environment and reduce the reliance on single-use plastics.
Pulpex is capable of producing bottles for a variety of market applications, from homecare and personal care products to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and liquid foods. The technology is also customisable by shape and allows for embossing, labeling and coloured pigments to fit brand needs. The production of Pulpex bottles is easily integrated into any packaging manufacturer’s existing filling infrastructure.
Pulpex aims to produce more than 750m bottles per year for Diageo and an array of global brands with the ambition of becoming one of the most valuable sustainable packaging firms by 2025. Diageo will debut the world’s first paper spirits bottle with Johnnie Walker whisky in early 2021.