Procter & Gamble said it will launch a trial rollout of paper bottles in Western Europe next year as part of overall plans to cut the use of virgin plastics in half by 2030.
The test will involve Lenor, the European moniker for Downy fabric softener.
P&G’s bio-based, recyclable paper bottles will be produced in partnership with Paboco, a two-year-old European joint venture of bottling company Alpla and packaging materials developer BillerudKorsnäs, whose other brand partners include Carlsberg Group, Pernod Ricard’s Absolut, L’Oreal, and Coca Cola in Europe.
“This is another milestone on our…journey to innovate towards more sustainable packaging formats,” said Jerry Porter, senior vice president of R&D for P&G’s Global Fabric & Home Care Sector. “Lenor has a great track record of incorporating recycled plastic into its packaging, already using up to 100% in its European transparent bottles. Now we aim to go a step further…”
Porter told sustainability news site edie that 100,000 bottles will be manufactured for the 2022 test. While the bottles will be paper, the caps will remain plastic.
Virgin plastics are newly manufactured, rather than recycled, and the European fabric group has upped parent P&G’s goals by pledging to eliminate them by 2025
The Lenor test, P&G said, will help it learn strategy to scale up paper packaging and incorporate the technology more widely across all of the company’s brands.
Other P&G Fabric & Home Care brands include Ariel, Tide, Fairy, and Cascade. The division is a $23 billion global business, representing a third of all P&G net sales.
“Storing liquids in paper is particularly challenging,” added Paboco interim CEO Gittan Schiöld, “but its successful adoption could have major benefits for the planet. Having P&G Fabric & Home Care category as a partner…is a huge boost to that vision. Not only does it really add weight to the viability of the technology but brings with it P&G’s know-how … offering new opportunities for scaling Paboco’s paper bottle technology.”