Stora Enso in partnership to produce ‘paper bottles’

Stora Enso has partnered with Pulpex — a packaging firm formed by alcoholic drinks brand Diageo — to develop a “large-scale production line” for a range of paper bottles made from wood pulp. 

The bottles will be used for UK whisky brand Johnnie Walker
Pulpex claims the packaging will ‘soon be cheaper than glass’

Pulpex is behind a packaging technology which it hopes can replace PET bottles for some products on a global sale.

The Pulpex bottles are formed by pressurising pulp in moulds “using highly advanced technology”. The pulp containers are then cured in microwave ovens before being sprayed internally with specialised coatings designed to be compatible with the products they are holding.

Pulpex say these can then be used in variety of market applications, from homecare and personal care products to alcohol- and non-alcohol beverages and liquid foods.

However, it is not applicable for carbonated or hot drinks.

‘Potential’

Sohrab Kazemahvazi, senior vice president at Stora Enso said: “We see great potential in combining development skills of Pulpex with our industrial capabilities. This cooperation marks an important step in bringing to market a truly sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and containers, while offering end-user qualities that match those of traditional packaging in the beverage market.”

“This cooperation marks an important step in bringing to market a truly sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and containers”

Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Stora Enzo

Pulpex says the bottles are made using pulp from 100% renewable feedstocks and can be recycled alongside existing infrastructure for paper and card.

The company also said they have a 90% lower carbon footprint than virgin glass, and 30% less than plastic. In the event a Pulpex bottle is not recycled, the company claims “it will degrade readily in the natural environment”.

Partnership

In a statement released today (11 May), the companies announced that they will work in partnership to develop a large-scale production line for the bottles, expected to be operational in 2022.

“The partnership aims for large-scale industrial production of renewable and recyclable paper bottles and containers that degrade readily in the natural environment,” the statement said.

Brands

Pulpex claims partnerships have been struck to supply the bottles to PepsiCo, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare, and “the focus is now on developing a high-speed production line – expected to be operational in 2022”.

Each company has committed to incorporating Pulpex technology into its brand packaging and collectively aim to produce 750 million paper bottles per year by 2025.

While the products use in the UK market will be up to the companies using it, UK whiskey brand Johnnie Walker, part of the Diageo group,  will be trialling the paper bottles with a view to potentially rolling them out in the UK.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pulpex will use wood pulp sourced by Stora Enso from across the world.

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