Stora Enso and packaging technology company Pulpex have joined forces to industrialize the production of paper bottles and containers made from wood fibre pulp.

The joint development agreement is formed exclusively between Stora Enso and Pulpex, a sustainable packaging technology company established by Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, and Pilot Lite, a venture management company.

Produced with sustainably-sourced formed fibre pulp, the partnership says that its bottles and containers could enable a significantly lower carbon footprint compared with glass or PET.

The formed fibre products are manufactured by pressing various wood-based pulps into a three-dimensional shape in a moulding machine. The focus of the partnership now is on developing a high-speed production line which is expected to be operational in 2022.

“We see great potential in combining development skills of Pulpex with our industrial capabilities, says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, SVP of formed fibre at Stora Enso. “This cooperation marks an important step in bringing to market a truly sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and containers, while offering end-user qualities that match those of traditional packaging in the beverage market.”

Using Stora Enso’s formed fibre material, Pulpex plans to produce paper bottles for an array of global brands across a variety of market applications, from homecare and personal care products to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and liquid foods.

All of Stora Enso's wood fibre pulp reportedly comes from sustainable, verified sources. According to the companies, the customizable Pulpex bottle allows for embossing, labelling and coloured pigments to fit brand needs, and can integrate into packaging manufacturers’ existing filling infrastructures.

“We are delighted to have Stora Enso involved with Pulpex and are looking forward to the tangible benefits of such a formidable collaboration that will undoubtedly help us over the coming months as we seek to make our new, high-speed production lines available to all our partners,” says Scott Winston, director of Pulpex Limited.