Diageo has created the ‘first-ever’ 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle, set to debut with Johnnie Walker whisky in early 2021.

The ‘scalable’ bottle is said to be made entirely from sustainably sourced wood and is expected to be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.

The bottle was developed by Pulpex, a new sustainable packaging technology company launched through a partnership between Diageo and venture management firm, Pilot Lite.

Pulpex has also established a partner consortium of FMCG companies in non-competing categories, including Unilever and PepsiCo.

The consortium partners each plan to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex’s design and technology, in 2021.

“We’re thrilled to be working with global brand leaders in this consortium,” said Pilot Lite director, Sandy Westwater.

“By working together, we can use the collective power of the brands to help minimise the environmental footprint of packaging by changing manufacturing and consumer behaviours.”

The introduction of the new packaging will form part of Diageo’s commitment to Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible consumption and production.’

Ewan Andrew, the company’s chief sustainability officer, said: “We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly groundbreaking.”

Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo, added: “Innovative solutions and partnerships are critical to driving meaningful progress toward a circular economy.

“The Pulpex consortium is well positioned to deliver sustainable packaging at scale and across industries, having impact beyond what any organisation could achieve alone. We’re proud to be a part of it.”