Diageo To Reduce Cardboard Waste In Its Premium Scotch Portfolio

| May 9, 2022

Diageo recently announced the start of a new program to phase out the use of 183 million cardboard gift boxes from its premium Scotch portfolio around the world.

The phased removal of cardboard gift boxes will test consumer response, reduce waste and contribute to what’s described as Diageo’s 10-year environmental action plan.

Brands to see the change include Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky, Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky, and Bell’s Original Blended Scotch Whisky.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Johnnie Walker Red Label (image via Diageo)

Each year, nearly five million tons of cardboard and paper constitutes packaging waste in the UK, and even though it’s recyclable, the increased demand has led to cardboard shortages.

Diageo is moving to what it says is full sustainability and plans to be zero-waste to landfill from its own operations and offices by 2030.

From a Johnnie Walker paper-based bottle to a 100% PET-free paper-based pulp bottle which is due to retail in 2023, Diageo’s sustainable packaging strategy is developing packs for the future including:

  • Packaging based on biomimicry, designs that will be modeled on biological entities and processes, such as mycelium.
  • The use of carbon capture in the decorative design of bottles.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer for Diageo, said in a prepared statement that “waste caused by surplus packaging is placing an unnecessary burden on the planet. 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.”


Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...