Diageo Trials new Baileys Paper-Based Bottle

By Kitty Wheeler
New Dieageo Baileys paper bottle
Diageo trials a dry moulded fibre bottle made of 90% paper by partnering with PA Consulting, as part of the Bottle Collective with PA and PulPac.

Diageo is trialling a new dry moulded fibre bottle made of 90% paper in partnership with PA Consulting, as part of the Bottle Collective with PA and PulPac.

Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol, has a collection of brands across spirits and beers sold in over 180 countries. 

These brands include: Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness

Diageo trials dry moulded fibre bottles

Recently, it’s the Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur that is being trialled at the Time Out Festival in Barcelona, as part of the Bottle Collective.

The Bottle Collective is the mission of PA and PulPac joined with leading brand partners, to make the world’s first dry moulded fibre bottle.   

The trial aims to test how the bottles travel from the filling site in Ireland to Barcelona, and how consumers take the product regarding material and understanding of the sustainability elements. 

Yet whilst the product is made of 90% paper, what about the other 10%?

We take a closer look at the challenges Diageo and other liquid packaging manufacturers face to create a 100% recyclable and sustainable liquid bottle.

Challenges of material separation in liquid packaging

Food and drink packaging companies strive for increased sustainable packaging, and the Diageo Baileys bottle gets closer by being 90% paper (dry moulded fibre) with a thin plastic liner and a foil seal.

Yet it is the plastic and foil layers that are the hardest to recycle, and this is one of the biggest challenges for leading liquid packaging producers including: Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc, and Elopak.

The paper waste stream for liquid packaging includes collection, sorting, pulping, and recycling processes, and challenges primarily arise from polyethylene (the most commonly produced plastic) and aluminium layers complicating recycling. 

Contamination from residual liquids also impacts processing, as specialised equipment is required to separate layers, and transportation and economies of scale pose hurdles for recycling facilities too. 

So how does dry moulded fibre help the material problem?

Jamie Stone, Designer and Innovation Expert at PA, says “PulPac’s dry molded fibre technology has immense potential”, because “not only is it water-saving, energy-efficient and recyclable, but it is also viable at commercial manufacturing speeds and scale.”

Diageo sustainability challenges and goals

President of Global Supply Chain & Procurement and Chief Sustainability Officer for Diageo, Ewan Andrew, says: 

“The consumer is becoming more sustainability savvy and we believe we can meet that need using our design and innovation to bring premium products and more sustainable solutions together.”

For consumers, due to barriers including cost, lack of availability and confusion about the products, only 12% of consumers actually buy more sustainable products, when 68% want to.

To help consumers understand the sustainability elements of the product, Diageo is optimising innovation and marketing propositions to develop more sustainable products.

Such developments include frameworks that are organisation wide, including LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) tools, so that science, substantiation and creativity are used to communicate clearly to consumers, as well as an environmental checklist, based on the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority) guidelines.

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Diageo recyclable paper-based bottles initiatives
  • Diageo is a member of the Pulpex consortium: a partnership with worldwide consumer goods companies including GSKCH, Unilever and PepsiCo to develop and increase packaging technology globally.
  • The recyclable Johnnie Walker paper-based bottle is currently being developed as a result of this partnership
  • A spiral-wound paper-based bottle for Filipino rum brand Don Papa is being tested. Diageo is also working with supply chain partners Ardagh and Dassualt Systems on this.

Other Diageo sustainability initiatives include:

  • Removing excess packaging, by doing away with cardboard gift boxes in its premium scotch portfolio
  • Trialling lightweight glass bottles, using a coating developed by EXXERGY, a consultant to the renewable energy and glass industries.
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