Diageo announces paper-based bottle trial for Baileys

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Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Don Julio Tequila and Guinness has announced new plans to trial paper-based packaging for Baileys, the Original Irish Cream Liqueur.

In partnership with PA Consulting, as part of the Bottle Collective with PA and PulPac, Diageo is trialling a Dry Molded Fiber bottle. This is 90% paper, with a thin plastic liner and a foil seal. The bottle is designed for recycling in standard paper streams. Therefore, it does not require the consumer to separate the plastic liner from the paper bottle when disposing.

Ewan Andrew, President, Global Supply Chain & Procurement and Chief Sustainability Officer, Diageo commented: “When it comes to our packaging, we’re taking an approach of progress over perfection. Knowing our packaging will need to evolve along with consumer needs and technological advancements.”

68% of consumers want to buy more sustainably. However, only 12% do due to barriers including expense, lack of availability and confusion about what is on offer. Diageo is working to close this ‘say-do’ gap for consumers by developing more sustainable and desirable products. The company’s innovation and marketing propositions will help consumers understand the sustainability credentials of the products, including the materials used.

To support this, Diageo has developed and rolled out frameworks across the organisation, including an environmental CLAIMS checklist, based on the CMA guidelines and LCA assessment tools. This ensures that science, substantiation and creativity are used to communicate clearly to consumers.

Jamie Stone, Design and Innovation Expert at PA, said: “We are delighted that the Diageo Baileys Minis are now hitting the consumer market. Dry molded fiber bottles are a huge step forward, setting new standards in the world of more sustainable packaging. But this is only the beginning.”

Diageo is exploring paper formats across its wider portfolio. The company remains a committed member of the Pulpex consortium and continues to develop and internally test its concept Johnnie Walker paper-based bottle, which is still in development phase, along with other paper-based bottle concepts.

Alongside this, Diageo is developing a Diageo-designed. This is a spiral-wound paper-based bottle with Don Papa, the super-premium Filipino rum brand. The bottle is in feasibility testing and is expected to be 90% paper-based. The bottle is designed to remove the cardboard gift box around the bottle. Giving the illusion of a gift box which is in fact the whole bottle. This follows Diageo’s announcement in 2022 to start a programme to remove the cardboard gift boxes in its premium scotch portfolio, reducing excess packaging. It is being rolled out in a phased approach over the coming year.

Diageo is also looking at other packaging formats to address its sustainability goals. Through Diageo Sustainable Solutions, Diageo is trialling lightweighting its glass bottles using a novel coating developed by EXXERGY. Following a successful first stage, Diageo has invested in the second round of lab testing. It will work with supply chain partners Ardagh and Dassualt Systemes to complete this.

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