Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has today claimed that it has created the world’s first 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.

It comes as Diageo announces that it has launched a new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a new sustainable packaging technology company.

The bottle will debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021.

Diageo said to ensure that the technology can be used in every area of life, Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in non-competing categories including Unilever, and PepsiCo, with further partners expected to be announced later in the year.

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The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, in 2021.

Pulpex Limited has developed a "first-of-its-kind" scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable.

The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.

The firm said technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer, Diageo PLC, said: “We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking. It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.”

Pulpex Limited’s technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mould bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods.

Richard Slater, Chief R&D Officer, Unilever, said: “We believe in tackling plastic waste through innovation and collaboration. We are going to halve our use of virgin plastic at Unilever, reducing our use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes in the next five years.

"Joining forces to develop and test paper bottles is an incredibly exciting step forward, and we’re delighted to be working together to tackle one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time.”

Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer, PepsiCo, said: “Innovative solutions and partnerships are critical to driving meaningful progress toward a circular economy.

"The Pulpex consortium is well positioned to deliver sustainable packaging at scale and across industries, having impact beyond what any organization could achieve alone. We’re proud to be a part of it.” 

Sandy Westwater, director, Pilot Lite said: “We’re thrilled to be working with global brand leaders in this consortium. By working together, we can use the collective power of the brands to help minimise the environmental footprint of packaging by changing manufacturing and consumer behaviours.”

Fashion brand Quiz has said it believes that one of its Leicester-based suppliers has used a subcontractor at the centre of allegations over breaches to the national living wage.

The brand said it is "extremely concerned" by a report in the Times over the weekend that its clothes are being made in a factory where prospective staff are being paid as little as £3 an hour.

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The company said it is looking into the issue, just a week after similar allegations took more than a third off the share price of Boohoo.

"The group is currently investigating the reported allegations, which, if found to be accurate, are totally unacceptable," Quiz said in a statement on Monday morning.

"From our initial review, we believe that one of Quiz's suppliers based in Leicester has used a subcontractor in direct contravention of a previous instruction from Quiz," the fashion brand said in a statement.

"It is this subcontractor that is subject of the national living wage complaint. Quiz has immediately suspended activity with the supplier in question pending further investigation."

Glasgow-based Quiz runs more than 70 of its own stores across the UK, and has 174 concessions at department stores such as Debenhams.

It employs more than 1,500 people in the UK and Ireland.

Quiz said it would terminate its relationships with suppliers that do not live up to its code of practice.

Chief executive Tarak Ramzan said: "We are extremely concerned and disappointed to be informed of the alleged breach of national living wage requirements in a factory making Quiz products. The alleged breaches to both the law and Quiz's ethical code of practice are totally unacceptable.

"We are thoroughly investigating this incident and will also conduct a fuller review of our supplier auditing processes to ensure that they are robust. We will update our stakeholders in due course."

Shares in security giant G4S boomed on Monday after the business revealed that the first six months of the year had gone a lot better than experts predicted.

The company said it expects that adjusted profit before interest, tax and amortisation (PBITA) to be ahead of the market consensus.

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Analysts were betting that the figure would reach £159 million in the first half of the year, with earnings per share at 4.3p.

It said that after an update nearly a month ago, G4S has "continued to deliver a resilient trading performance during June".

They added: "We now expect that the group's adjusted PBITA and underlying earnings for the first six months of 2020 will be significantly above market consensus."

G4S also plans to move forward its first half report to next week.

Investors greeted the news with glee, sending the company's shares up by more than 9% early on Monday morning.

Last month the UK-based company said its Secure Solutions arm had seen revenues drop by 4% in April and May compared to the same period last year.

However, the decline was heavily regional, with Europe and the Middle East dropping by 6% in the first five months of the year.

Revenue jumped 6% in the Americas and 2% in Asia. Its cash business fared even worse, with revenue down 16% in the five months, and 35% across April and May.

At the time, chief executive Ashley Almanza said: "In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to reinforce health and safety measures for employees and customers, assure service delivery and to protect the company's financial performance, cash flow and financial position.

"As previously reported, the group is implementing restructuring and cost saving measures to reflect the disposal of the conventional cash businesses and in response to the pandemic. As we continue to focus and simplify the group, we expect to identify additional savings."

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