Kraft Heinz is teaming up with sustainable packaging technology company, Pulpex, to develop a paper-based, renewable and recyclable bottle made from 100 per cent sustainably sourced wood pulp.

Innovating its ketchup bottle, Heinz is the first sauce brand to test the potential of Pulpex’s sustainable paper bottle packaging for its range of condiments.

According to Kraft Heinz, this collaboration is the latest step in the company’s journey to reduce its environmental footprint. It says the collaboration is intended to progress the company’s sustainable packaging ambitions, as it aligns with its goal to make all packaging globally recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. It is also an innovation that Kraft Heinz says will help it achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Heinz and Pulpex are developing a prototype to test how the “cutting-edge” innovation could be used for Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottles and other packaging formats in years to come.

Pulpex’s current data indicates the carbon footprint of Pulpex bottles is materially less than glass and plastic on a bottle-by-bottle basis. Once used, they are also expected to be widely and readily recyclable in paper waste streams.

“Packaging waste is an industry-wide challenge that we must all do our part to address,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio. “That is why we are committed to taking steps to explore sustainable packaging solutions across our brands at Kraft Heinz, offering consumers more choices. This new Heinz bottle is one example of how we are applying creativity and innovation to explore new ways to provide consumers with the products they know and love while also thinking sustainably.”

Kraft Heinz says the next step in the process will involve prototype testing to assess performance before testing with consumers and bringing the bottle to market.

“We hope to bring this bottle to market and to be the first sauce brand to provide consumers this choice in their purchasing decisions, as many consumers today are looking for more sustainable packaging options,” said Rashida La Lande, EVP and global general counsel, and chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at Kraft Heinz . “We’re eager to continue discovering more sustainable packaging for our beloved and iconic brands.”

Scott Winston, CEO at Pulpex said, “We are delighted to work with Heinz to bring our patented packaging technology to such a famous name in food and are excited about the potential of this collaboration.

“We believe that the scope for paper-based packaging is huge, and when global household names like Heinz embrace this type of innovative technology, it’s good news for everyone – consumers and the planet.”

The pulp-based bottle would become the newest option available to Heinz Tomato Ketchup fans, joining the recyclable Heinz "iconic" glass bottle and plastic bottle, as well as plastic squeeze bottles with their 30 per cent recycled content (available only in Europe) and 100 per cent recyclable caps.

Pulpex, a partnership between beverage alcohol giant Diageo, and venture management company Pilot Lite, was launched in 2020. Supported by Diageo, it trialled a paper-based bottle for Johnnie Walker whisky last year, and will produce packaging for companies such as Unilever and PepsiCo.

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