Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky will soon be sporting a new bottle as the brand plans to make its packaging more environmentally sound next year. Diageo, the company that owns the whisky giant, says the favoured whisky drink will be available in paper bottles by 2021.

Although Johnnie Walker has always been sold in its distinct glass bottle, the firm acknowledges that glass bottle production eats up a lot of energy and emits harmful carbon. It requires a lot of energy to fire up glass furnaces and a lot of natural gas is used to melt the raw materials needed to turn sand and limestone to glass.

The company is set to co-launch a firm called Pulpex which will produce the new paper bottles. At the same time, it will be producing its brand of packaging for other big name companies like PepsiCo and Unilever.

The new paper bottle is said to be made from wood pulp that will be made by pressurising pulp into moulds and then cured in microwave ovens. The inside of each bottle will be sprayed with a coating designed not to interact with whatever ingredients are in the drink. Most drinks that come in cartons are lined with plastic coating to keep the drink from leaking and seeping out. Diageo reassures their new bottles will not have a plastic coating.

The paper bottles will be 100% recyclable and customers can easily dump them straight into their segregated trash bins for biodegradables. This move comes as the company has always been looking for ways to reduce plastic use in all its products and brands.

The Johnnie Walker company also makes Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer, and proudly says they use less than 5% plastic in their packaging.

More beverage companies are looking into developing and eventually shifting to paper bottles as a global effort to reduce carbon footprints and to provide for more sustainable products. According to The Drinks Business, British packaging company Frugalpac has launched a prototype wine bottle made with 94% recycled paperboard and is said to have about 84% less carbon footprint compared to a glass bottle.

As it is, Carlsberg is now also in the paper bottle game for its beer products running alongside other companies manufacturing wine paper bottles with food grade liners.

Unfortunately, beverage biggie Coca Cola says they are not keen on shifting their single use plastic bottles as consumers still prefer them.

Renawable Energy
UN General Secretary António Guterres called for less use of plastic and fuel to help conserve the environment [File photo] REUTERS/Benoit Tessier