Pernod Ricard is rolling out its prototype Absolut Paper Bottle from today, initially just in the UK and Sweden.

The bottle is the first step to achieving a fully bio-based bottle able to contain spirits. The producer said it will begin by testing an initial batch of 2,000 bottles amongst consumers. 

The prototype is made up of recyclable content – 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic – with the plastic making up a thin layer within the bottle that can be successfully recycled after use. The normal Absolut glass bottle uses 47% recycled glass, which is world class when it comes to clear glass, and Absolut reuses almost one third of all clear glass recycled in Sweden. 

The project is a collaborative initiative with the Paboco pioneer community which includes a number of industry leaders in the FMCG sector.

Absolut and Paboco partners aim to drive sustainable innovation in the bottling industry by creating alternatives to traditional methods of packaging and by challenging the mindsets of both consumers and players across the spirits industry.

In the UK, the trial will see Absolut partner with design-led and sustainability influencers to drive awareness of the prototypes on social media and offer consumers the chance to win a uniquely numbered paper bottle. The influencers are also being challenged to customise a bottle with their own design and create a unique limited-edition item for their followers to win. 

Marnie Corrigan, Brand Director at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Absolut understands the crucial role we must all play in having a positive impact on the environment. Lasting change takes time and the paper bottle explores alternative materials as part of our journey towards a sustainable future of packaging.

“In our passion for progression, we are proud to continue our long-standing support and collaboration with the creative industries through commissioning one-of-a-kind bottle designs from rising creatives from across the UK.” 

Pernod Ricard noted that over the last 12 weeks, Absolut has grown +36.9% in value, more than twice the rate of total category growth. 

The Paper Bottle is one of many initiatives underway at Absolut with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of its packaging by 2025. The brands’ ambition is to meet the Ellen MacArthur Foundation target of ensuring all primary packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable, reusable and/or bio-sourced.