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Absolut trials paper bottle prototype

Absolut will start trialling a paper bottle prototype in the UK and Sweden: aiming to ‘turn the spirits industry upside down with packaging that invokes real and long-lasting behavioural change’.

The Absolut Company will trial paper-based bottles in November this year, across the Absolut Vodka and Absolut Mixt products.

The prototypes will be made up of 100% recycled content, with 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic. The plastic is currently used to create a barrier layer for the bottle, but Absolut is working to progress towards 100% bio-organic materials.

If the prototypes prove successful, the company will move forward with the next development stage, with an ambition to create a fully bio-based bottle.

The prototypes have been formed as part of an innovative group of businesses working towards eliminating the use of plastics for certain containers.

The growing paper bottle club

Last year, Danish brewer Carlsberg unveiled prototypes of the world’s first beer bottles made from recyclable and bio-based materials. Carlsberg will test the barrier technology with the ambition of being able to commercialise a 100% bio-based bottle that doesn’t contain polymers.

The move kick-started the formation of Paboco, the Paper Bottle Company, which is a joint venture between renewables material company BillerudKorsnäs and plastic bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.

On the day of its formation, Paboco launched a paper bottle community. The Absolut Company is one of the founding pioneers of this community and has been joined by The Coca-Cola Company, Carlsberg and L’Oréal.

The companies will each evaluate the technological performance of paper-based bottles provided by Paboco, with each firm aiming to launch products as part of consumer trials over the next few years.

In a similar move, drinks giant Diageo unveiled a plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle earlier this year, which will debut on the company’s Johnnie Walker range of Scotch Whisky early next year.

Diageo, which makes renowned drinks such as Smirnoff and Guinness, claims the bottle is the world’s first-ever 100% plastic-free, paper-based variant. The bottle is made from sustainably-sourced wood fibre and meets food-safe standards.

As part of the new bottle unveiling, Diageo has launched a new partnership with venture management firm, Pilot Lite, to launch Pulpex Limited, the company behind the sustainable packaging technology.

Pulpex will produce a variety of plastic-free, single mould bottles that will be used across a new consortium of major FMCG companies, which includes PepsiCo and Unilever.