Finnish paperboard specialist Stora Enso has signed an exclusive agreement to produce Pulpex paper bottles on an industrial scale. A high-speed production line is expected to be operational in 2022.
Packaging technology company Pulpex Limited, the fruit of a partnership between drinks giant Diageo and venture management firm Pilot Lite, is set to industrialize its paper bottle technology thanks to a joint development agreement with paperboard manufacturer Stora Enso. Pulpex will use Stora Enso’s formed fiber material to produce the plastic-free paper bottles. A high-speed production line is set to be operational next year.
“This cooperation marks an important step in bringing to market a truly sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and containers, while offering end-user qualities that match those of traditional packaging in the beverage market,” Sohrab Kazemahvazi, SVP Formed Fiber at Stora Enso, said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to the tangible benefits of such a formidable collaboration […] as we seek to make our new, high-speed production lines available to all our partners”, added Scott Winston, Director, Pulpex Limited.
As Luxe Packaging Insight reported last year, Pulpex’s molded pulp bottles are cured in microwave ovens and sprayed internally with specialized barrier coatings. The bottles can be filled using packaging manufacturers’ existing tooling, while decoration possibilities include colored pigments, embossing or the application of labels.
Pulpex affirms that in time, its technology will be a cheaper option than most glass bottles. As regards carbon footprint, the paper bottle is said to be 90% lower than glass and 30% lower than PET. The bottles can be recycled in standard paper waste streams.
Pulpex’s global partner consortium, which includes Diageo, Unilever, PepsiCo, Castrol and GSK Consumer Healthcare, is aiming to collectively produce 750 million paper bottles per year.