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First roll out of Absolut’s paper bottle launches in the UK

Published:  25 January, 2021

Pernod Ricard’s flagship vodka brand, Absolut, will be rolling out its prototype “paper” bottle from today (25 January), initially in both the UK and Sweden.

Made of a mix of paper and recycled plastic, the prototype completely eliminates glass from the design process and marks the brand’s first step to achieving a “fully bio-based bottle able to contain spirits”, Pernod said.

The prototype has been much teased in recent months. It forms part of efforts at the company and also rivals Diageo and Bacardi to lead the switch towards sustainable packaging, underscoring mounting pressure on companies to make environmentally impactful changes.

In Diageo’s case, the UK-based drinks giant is currently racing to release the world’s first 100% plastic-free, paper-based Johnnie Walker bottle (made from sustainably sourced wood) sometime this year.

Bacardi, meanwhile, is aiming to go one step further with an entirely new type of plant-based packaging that will “decompose in your back garden”. 

“Absolut understands the crucial role we must all play in having a positive impact on the environment,” Marnie Corrigan, brand director at Pernod Ricard UK, said.

“Lasting change takes time and the paper bottle explores alternative materials as part of our journey towards a sustainable future of packaging. In our passion for progression, we are proud to continue our long-standing support and collaboration with the creative industries through commissioning one-of-a-kind bottle designs from rising creatives from across the UK.” 

Made of fully recyclable content, the Absolut prototype consists of 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic, with the plastic making up a thin layer within the bottle that can be recycled after use.

The brand will begin by testing an initial batch of 2,000 bottles amongst consumers.

Pernod said that its paper bottle is one of many initiatives underway at Absolut, with the goal of meeting the Ellen MacArthur Foundation target of ensuring all primary packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable, reusable and/or bio-sourced by 2025.