Absolut launches first-ever commercially available paper bottles


CATEGORY: Drinks BRAND: Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka is to become the first global spirits brand to sell single-mould paper-based bottles commercially in the UK as part of its journey to create a fully bio-based bottle

Absolut Vodka is embarking on a three-month test for its single-mould paper bottle – sold in British supermarket chain, Tesco – a significant milestone on its journey to create a 100 per cent bio-based bottle and reduce its CO2 emissions.


The paper bottle initiative is part of a wider collaboration with Paboco (the Paper Bottle Company) and their community of global brands, The Coca-Cola Company, Carlsberg, P&G and L’Oréal – to work collectively to help the drinks and packaging industries push the boundaries for sustainable packaging.


This is the first time such paper-based bottles will have been sold commercially in-store by a global spirits company and follow some previous tests by Absolut at festivals in the UK and Sweden. It also represents an important milestone for Absolut in becoming a carbon neutral product by 2030 – a prerequisite for being able to meet this goal is in reducing the carbon footprint of its packaging.


The trial aims to gain insights from consumers, retailers and supply chain partners to inform the next steps on Absolut’s innovation journey towards a commercially viable, fully bio-based bottle. Absolut will test how the paper-based bottle transports and how consumers perceive it. Unlike the initial pilots which were for Absolut Mixt ready-to-drink, which had low ABVs (5%), this bottle will be tested using the higher 40% ABV of Absolut Vodka.


The 500ml-sized single-mould paper bottles will be sold in 22 Tesco stores (RRP £16) across Greater Manchester throughout the summer. These first-generation single-mould bottles are made from 57% paper with an integrated barrier of recyclable plastic. Manchester’s recycling facilities and its high recycling rates make it the perfect location for the test launch. Customers can simply recycle the packaging as paper through normal household waste.


While standard glass bottles are also recyclable, paper bottles are eight times lighter and easier to carry. The innovative paper bottles retain the brand’s apothecary-inspired design, and the end goal is for them to complement Absolut’s iconic glass bottle, not replace it. Absolut believes consumers will use the paper bottles in out-of-home occasions such as festivals.

Elin Furelid, Director of Future Packaging at Absolut, said: “This is a step closer towards our vision of a fully bio-based bottle. We are exploring packaging that has a completely different value proposition. Paper is tactile; it’s beautiful; it’s authentic; it’s light. That was our starting point. But this is not just an idea on paper.



“We want consumers and partners to join our journey towards a more sustainable future. Together we can develop packaging solutions that people want and the world needs. That’s why bold partnerships with like-minded organisations to test the waters are going to be evermore crucial on our net zero journey.”


Charl Bassil, Global VP Absolut, said: “Absolut Vodka has a rich heritage of collaborations and partnerships, and the brand is working towards developing packaging solutions that consumers want and our planet needs. Absolut remains committed to a sustainable future in which it continues to mix things up, with recyclable lighter paper-based bottles to complement Absolut’s iconic glass bottles.  This ground-breaking test takes Absolut a step closer to that becoming a reality.



Absolut Vodka is on track to be a carbon-neutral product by 2030, with its distillery emitting 98 per cent fewer emissions than the average distillery (*). In November last year, it announced its ground-breaking initiative with Ardagh Glass Packaging to start using a partly hydrogen energy-fired glass furnace for large-scale bottle production. 


(*) According to Beverage Industries Environmental Roundtable (BIER) benchmarking study based on data from 2020.


Return to the list