PA Consulting and Swedish R&D firm PulPac have announced a new development in their continuing business relationship. In founding the Bottle Collective, the firms hope to design a new fibre-based alternative to single-use plastic bottles, helping reduce plastic pollution levels around the world.
Founded in 2018, PulPac is an R&D and IP-company based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The firm is known for its creation of ‘Dry Molded Fiber’, its patented manufacturing technology, which creates low-cost, high-performance fibre-based packaging and single-use products.
In 2022, PulPac partnered with PA Consulting – well known for its expertise in the healthcare and design segments – to provide pharmaceutical manufacturers with a recyclable and sustainable fibre alternative to traditional non-recyclable PVC blister packs. With 100,000 tonnes of plastic produced globally for medicine packaging every year, the new Blister Pack Collective will use PulPac’s dry moulded fibre technology to provide a scalable solution for pharma and consumer healthcare companies to use.
Now, the two organisations have furthered their collaboration, with the aim of decreasing single-use plastic waste around the world once more. This time, the pair have launched the Bottle Collective, which will look to offer up a new fibre bottle alternative for the food, drink, consumer health and FMCG industries. With single-use plastic bottles having an estimated annual production volume of up to 500 billion pieces, they are a significant source of plastic pollution worldwide, and costing the global economy billions every year – making this project a major milestone for PulPac.
“Plastic bottles are the holy grail of plastic replacement,” Sanna Fager, Chief Commercial Officer at PulPac, explained. “We are proud to share some of our patent-protected advances with PA Consulting, combining Dry Molded Fibers’ forming versatility, broad barrier applicability, and high production efficiency. Backed by strong partnerships across the value chain, we can bring competitive unit cost into the fibre-bottle space, enabling the shift away from today’s single use plastic. We encourage all brands and relevant industry actors to join this force for sustainable change.”
The Bottle Collective will now seek to industrialise the production of a recyclable, high-speed, low-cost Dry Molded Fiber bottle – with a key focus on showing the technology is a viable alternative to single-use and commodity plastic bottles. Helping PulPac to demonstrate this, PA’s mechanical engineering, design, automation, and material sciences teams have already assisted in developing the Collective’s first functioning prototypes.
Tony Perrotta, PulPac Partnership Lead at PA Consulting, added, “Together with leading global consumer brand partners, we can fast-track the development of the world’s first Dry Molded Fiber bottle. This will make the most of our renewable resources while delivering significant positive impact to reduce today’s single use plastic pollution.”
Dry Molded Fiber uses renewable pulp and cellulose resources to produce low-cost, high-performance fiber-based packaging. The manufacturing process uses less CO2 than plastic and conventional wet moulding options. With almost no water used in manufacturing, the process creates a highly versatile container mould for consumer companies, which would be ideal for water, dairy, non-carbonated soft drinks, adult beverages, detergent, skin care, or hair care – among other options.
Due to this versatility, the project is already building corporate momentum. Multiple brand partners have already joined the Collective, to continue developing and scaling fiber bottles by 2025.
Perrotta concluded, “We have the technology. We have a functioning prototype and process. We are now ready to enter the next stage – demonstration that our Dry Molded Fiber bottles are capable of being produced at the speed, volume, and cost necessary to match the massive scale of this global industry challenge.”