UK – Sustainable packaging technology company Pulpex has partnered with Finnish renewable materials company Stora Enso to mass produce 100% recyclable bottles and containers made from sustainably sourced, formed wood fiber pulp.

Pulpex will use Stora Enso’s formed fiber material to create paper bottles for global brands in applications including alcohol and nonalcohol beverages and liquid foods, along with home and personal care products.

All of Stora Enso’s wood fiber pulp comes from sustainable, verified sources and will be used to make Pulpex bottles that can be embossed, labeled and colored, according to specification of Pulpex global partner consortium.

A solution to demand for sustainable packaging solutions

The development is happening at a time when companies are in pursuit for sustainable packaging is happening as overall consumer demand for new options grows.

This drive is partly driven by consumers with two-thirds of consumers consider it important for the products they buy to have sustainable packaging, according to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report.

This demand for sustainable solutions led to the founding of Pulpex by Diageo (makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness) and Pilot Lite (a venture management company).

The company has since developed the world’s first 100% PET-free paper bottle that is made from sustainably sourced pulp, the Pulpex bottle meets food safety standards.

Pulpex notes that the paper bottle will be recyclable in standard paper waste streams, which have a far higher yield than plastic waste streams.

The high sustainability profile has attracted leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, including Diageo, PepsiCo, Unilever, GSK Consumer Healthcare and Castrol, which have joined the Pulpex global partner consortium.

Each of these companies has committed to incorporating Pulpex technology into its brand packaging and collectively aim to produce 750m paper bottles per year.

This demand for mass quantity of paper bottles has made it necessary for Pulpex to partner with Stora Enso. The companies plan to have a high-speed production line operational in 2022.

As Pulpex and its partners explore paper bottle, other beverage companies have tackled the challenge of adopting more environmentally friendly packaging from different angles, with a shift away from plastic.

Beverage giant Keurig Dr Pepper, which owns Evian, 7-Up and other brands, has committed to cutting the use of new plastics in packaging by 25% by 2025 by increasing its use of recycled content.

To reduce plastic from its packaging, Keurig Dr Pepper also aims to use 100% recyclable or compostable packaging by the same deadline.

Coca-Cola is also moving to 100% recyclable plastic packaging across its entire portfolio, and away from aluminum use in some of its smaller drink offerings.

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