03 Oct 2022
Rapidly expanding to accommodate demand from multinational food chains, major supermarkets and Britain’s NHS, UK-based innovator Cullen Packaging has unveiled a next generation, sustainable alternative to plastic bottles and pouches. Called simply ‘The Fibre Bottle’ it is designed for dry goods and enables brands producing goods such as vitamins, supplements, dry foods, homecare and horticultural products to remove 270m single-use plastic bottles or pouches from shelves per year.
The pioneering Fibre Bottle is made from 100% natural matter, recycled cardboard and water, and is biodegradable & compostable, in comparison to its counterpart plastic that will leave a 200-1000 year legacy in landfill. Unlike similar products, The Fibre Bottle is now shelf-ready at scale, with Cullen already producing hundreds of millions of moulded fibre bottles for the healthcare sector across 34 countries globally.
The landmark Fibre Bottle is launched in one design iteration, but thanks to Cullen’s bespoke service, the innovator can create any size or colour that FMCG brands can conceive. Within just one month, the firm’s in-house design, engineering and manufacturing teams can create a bespoke moulded fibre alternative for most plastic packaging, of which the Fibre Bottle is the latest example. Upon approval, the sustainable units can be made affordably and quickly at commercial scale. So more brands than ever will be able to seamlessly replace plastic for Cullen’s sustainable alternatives.
David MacDonald, owner of Cullen, said: “This is a game changer. While there are some great pilot and small-scale plastic-free bottle innovations, The Fibre Bottle by Cullen is the only one that can be produced affordably at a commercial scale. The fibre-based packaging market is £8.65bn ($10bn) per year and we’re already one of its most established, major players. Our ability to design, engineer and manufacture over one billion plastic free products since 2020 from our UK facility makes us one of the global leaders in this space. And we can produce 270 million Fibre Bottles per year from today. It’s not just bright innovation and smart design that will allow us remove single-plastic from shelves, but expert manufacturing at real scale and a cost that rivals or beats the alternatives. And that’s where Cullen is at already.”
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet said “In single-use packaging, carbon footprint and general eco-friendliness of moulded fibre products are significantly better when compared to plastic. For a single-use packaging product of the same size and functionality, moulded fibre has a 63% lower CO2 emission as compared to polystyrene and a 150% lower as compared to PET. Cullen is a business that has the potential to eliminate billions of pieces of toxic, indestructible plastic and sees no limit to the positive impact they can drive. Ideas are a start, but implementation is everything. Cullen’s ability to scale rapidly and execute a big vision gives us hope that we can stop huge amounts of damage being done to the planet.”
Gearing up for the bottle launch, the company is set to reveal plans for a major expansion at its Glasgow, UK facility. A new innovation design centre and increased manufacturing facility at its 14 acre site will enable the firm to ramp up annual production to one billion products per year. Along with clients including global food leaders like multinational fast food chains and supermarkets, Cullen is driving a major replacement of plastic packaging.
Cullen is Europe’s only combined manufacturer of moulded fibre and corrugate packaging. Its products are already almost everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colours, protecting everything from avocados and coffee to laptops, vacuums expensive wine and much more. The company itself uses a closed-loop recycling system that cleverly utilises the waste they produce from their corrugated manufacturing process to make their moulded fibre products including The Fibre Bottle.