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Johnnie Walker first of Diageo’s brands to get 100 per cent plastic-free paper bottles come 2021

Made entirely from sustainably sourced wood, Diageo’s biodegradable bottles will debut with long-standing whisky makers Johnnie Walker.

Diageo have taken ‘drinking out of a brown paper bag’ one step further. Not in terms of avoiding a fine in certain countries though – they’ve made the paper bag, well, what’s carrying the alcohol. And the first alcohol that’s going in these paper bags will be Scotch whiskey giants Johnnie Walker.

The new spirits bottle is made in collaboration with Pilot Lite, with whom Diageo has launched a new company together named Pulpex Limited. Its developed the first-of-its-kind paper-based bottle that’s completely plastic-free and designed for multiple liquid products. It’s a commitment to shaking up the fast moving consumer goods industry, notorious for its particular brand of unsustainable packaging.

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This isn’t the only step Diageo has taken recently toward a more sustainable future for booze. Its new Bulleit bourbon distillery in Kentucky will produce up to 10 million gallons per year of the stuff, all while powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. Being fully electrically powered, as well as marked improvements in efficiency, will also allow the site to minimise its water usage and waste production.

Diageo's first plastic-free glass bottle Johnny Walker 1

The bottle is slated to be released early next year and is fully recyclable. We know what you’re thinking though: can it actually replace glass? After all, glass or crystal bottles are more than just classy containers that look great on any self-respecting connoisseur’s shelf. They’re next to impervious to oxygen or carbon dioxide, and it tastes almost completely neutral so that no errant flavours will be leached into your precious drink.

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Does Pulpex Limited’s paper bottle really have what it takes? For context, there’s plenty of boxed wines available overseas – though they’re generally cost closer to 2 euros than 200. We’d really have to wait for more details about Diageo’s venture closer to release, though we’re certain that they’ve done their due diligence in ensuring their product quality remains top-notch.

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Until then though, we’ll stick to what we know – sustainability will come one way or the other, and we’d rather sacrifice a little of the convenience one gets from plastic packaging, for example, than compromise on over two centuries’ experience in fine whiskey production.

For more on Johnnie Walker, click here.