As part of its 10-year action plan to operate more sustainably, Diageo has outlined plans to discontinue the use of cardboard gift boxes within its Scotch whisky portfolio. The phased removal of 183 million gift boxes will cover brands such as Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s and Bell’s. If successful, the programme will extend to more Diageo-owned brands in 2023.

As Diageo plans to be “zero-waste to landfill from its own operations and offices by 2030”, it has developed a sustainable packaging strategy which includes the use of carbon capture in the decorative design of bottles to reduce emissions from the production process. It is also trialling alternative packaging, with paper-based bottles of Johnnie Walker due to retail in 2023.

Ewan Andrew, Diageo’s chief sustainability officer, said: “Paper and cardboard are highly sustainable forms of packaging but it is time to review what is actually needed to package a product, as opposed to packaging it that way for historical reasons. We believe that the liquid in our premium Scotch products is the gift. They do not always need cardboard gift boxes to enhance this.”