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Baileys to get paper bottle

Diageo has announced plans to trial a paper bottle for its Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur, joining the growing ranks of brands housed in non-glass packaging.

Brands are converting to paper bottles apace in a bid to aid recycling and slash their carbon footprint.

Leading from the front is discount retailer Aldi which launched two paper wine bottles as part of its own-label range in March 2024, becoming the first UK supermarket to do so, followed by the addition of a paper gin bottle this month.

Now, Diageo is getting in on the act by trialling a paper bottle for its popular Baileys brand. But it would appear the drinks giant is merely dipping a toe into paper packaging as the company revealed it will initially release only its Baileys Minis (80ml) product in the new format.

The new look for Baileys involves a dry moulded fibre bottle, made from 90% paper, with a foil seal and a thin plastic liner, which does not need to be separated from the rest of the bottle before recycling.

Following bottle filling in Ireland, an initial 2,000 mini bottles will be made available to consumers at Time Out Festival in Barcelona this weekend (25- 26 May), with Diageo paying a careful eye to how the bottles fared when travelling.

The company has also said it will monitor whether, and how much, consumers engage with and understand the sustainability credentials of the new paper bottle.

“We’re taking an approach of progress over perfection, knowing our packaging will need to evolve along with consumer needs and technological advancements,” said Ewan Andrew, president, global supply chain and procurement and chief sustainability officer for Diageo.

“The consumer is becoming more sustainability savvy and we believe we can meet that need using our design and innovation to bring premium products and more sustainable solutions together.”

The new paper bottle has been created using PulPac dry moulded fibre technology.

Jamie Stone, design and innovation expert at PA Consulting, which worked with Diageo on the new-look Baileys bottle, called dry moulded fibre bottles “a huge step forward” and added that this form of packaging “is only the beginning.”

Speaking of PulPac’s technology Stone said it has “immense potential”.

“Not only is it water-saving, energy-efficient and recyclable, but it is also viable at commercial manufacturing speeds and scale. Working with Diageo and other organisations through our Bottle and Blister Pack Collectives has enabled us to pool resources and dramatically accelerate the time to market for this important innovation.”

Diageo says it is exploring paper formats across its wider portfolio, including Johnnie Walker whisky, for which the format is in development phase.

Eagle-eyed viewers of Netflix drama Bodies, may have spotted characters in the series’ 2058 setting drinking wine from paper bottles, with the show’s creators hinting at the future of wine packaging.

Moonage Pictures, the production team for Bodies, approached leading paper bottle manufacturer Frugalpac in July 2022 to create two bespoke paper bottles for the scene: a Château Montcasse Cabernet Sauvignon 2050, and a Château Serephinelle Merlot 2039 Reserve.

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