EUROPE – Vodka maker The Absolut Company (TAC), a part of the Pernod Ricard brand, has announced that it will begin a paper bottle prototype trial for its products in Sweden and the UK this fall in its next step towards sustainability.

The bottles are made with 57 per cent paper and 43 per cent recycled plastic, are themselves recyclable and be tested with two products, Absolut Vodka and Absolut Mixt. The plastic is necessary to provide a layer to prevent liquid spillage.

According to One Green Planet, the first production run is set to go into testing this November; if successful, TAC will start work on a fully bio-based bottle – its ultimate goal.

The project is part of a larger initiative with The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco) and its pioneer community, which invovles global brands such as Coca-Cola, Carlsberg and L’Oréal. It aims to encourage the use of more sustainable packaging methods and challenge the mindsets of both producers and consumers.

“We’ve taken a concept and created a real-world prototype that is planned to be in controlled consumer testing in a matter of months.”

Niclas Appelquist – Innovation director of future packaging, Absolut Company

Of the trial, TAC said: “TAC recognises the impact the paper bottle will have in the global shift towards sustainability. By focusing on innovation, mindset and collaboration, TAC’s goal of creating packaging with purpose is encouraged by the belief that conscious consumers will continue to drive the demand for environmentally clean products.”

Pernod Ricard joins Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, and L’Oreal in The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco) Initiative. 

“We’ve taken a concept and created a real-world prototype that is planned to be in controlled consumer testing in a matter of months,” Niclas Appelquist, innovation director of future packaging at the Absolut Company, said.

“Our sustainability strategy is making a commitment to a fully circular process, and the rollout of our prototype is a step in the right direction toward that goal.”

The company will incorporate customer feedback into the second pilot scheduled for next spring. Danish beer company Carlsberg announced a paper bottle in 2019 and other beverage companies like Pepsi have taken steps to reduce plastic in their bottling processes. Johnnie Walker announced that they would introduce a paper bottle in spring 2021.

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