Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky, will be available in 100% plastic-free bottles from early 2021, Diageo Plc announced on Monday. According to the company, which is the maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, such a bottle is a world’s first for this product category.

The bottle is made from sustainably sourced paper pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.

We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking. It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence,” said Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, Diageo.

The innovation is the result of a partnership between Diageo and Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a consortium of world leading FMCG companies in non-competing categories including Unilever, and PepsiCo, dedicated to the development of sustainable packaging solutions.

Pulpex Limited’s technology allows to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mould bottles designed to contain a variety of liquid products. The bottles can be used across a range of consumer goods. According to Diageo, the technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, in 2021.

We believe in tackling plastic waste through innovation and collaboration. We are going to halve our use of virgin plastic at Unilever, reducing our use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes in the next five years. Joining forces to develop and test paper bottles is an incredibly exciting step forward, and we’re delighted to be working together to tackle one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,” added Richard Slater, Chief R&D Officer, Unilever.

This world’s first opens the way to further sustainable packaging innovation in a variety of categories, including cosmetic and personal care products. Last year, L’Oréal has joined Paboco (the Paper Bottle Community), another consortium started by Danish innovation company EcoXpac in 2010, and gathering Carlsberg Group and BillerudKorsnäs.