Scotland-based Sustainable packaging company nominated for global Earthshot Prize


UK-based Cullen Sustainable Packaging has been nominated for the prestigious environmental initiative award, the Earthshot Prize, for its innovative Fibre Bottle solution.

The Earthshot Prize sets out five universal goals to meet by 2030. These are Protect and Restore Nature, Clean our Air, Revive our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World and Fix our Climate. Each year a Top 150 is whittled down to just five winners which are each awarded £1m to help scale their solution.

Cullen’s Fibre Bottle was nominated in the Waste-Free World category which aims to “build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature”.

The Fibre Bottle is a patented paper bottle, made from the corrugate waste from Cullen’s corrugated facility via a bespoke closed-loop recycling system and is fully recyclable and compostable. An evolution of a paper bottle Cullen has been producing from the healthcare sector since 2009, Cullen’s Fibre Bottle is a scalable, sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bottles or plastic pouches containing dry goods.

With plastic production set to triple by 2040 and plastic packaging already accounting for 40% of plastic production, Cullen’s Fibre Bottle is a viable solution. The company is already removing single-use plastic bottles and pouches from our shelves in the millions. They currently manufacture over 80m paper bottles annually and they also build their own bespoke, patented moulded fibre machines in-house, meaning scaling up further is limitless.

Made from moulded fibre, which has a 62% lower CO2 emission rate compared to polystyrene and a 15% lower rate than PET, the Fibre Bottle provides a recyclable packaging solution for homecare products, vitamins, dried foods and healthcare products, the majority of which currently use single use plastic packaging.

Cullen, which has been creating innovative sustainable packaging solutions since 1921, is Europe’s only combined manufacturer of moulded fibre and corrugate packaging, and designs and builds its own bespoke machine to create sustainable packaging for clients in more than 35 countries.

David MacDonald, CEO at Cullen said: “We’re honoured to be recognised by the Earthshot prize as one of the top game-changing innovations that will help us repair the planet.

“We all know the damage single use plastic can cause, however at Cullen we also understand businesses need a scalable, and truly recyclable alternative to replace it, that can be implemented quickly and efficiently – that’s what we provide. We work in collaboration to create truly sustainable alternatives to single use plastic in an effort to help regenerate the planet. In the last two years we’ve produced over 1 billion plastic free products for just about every sector. ”

Looking to further expand and double its capacity to produce 1 billion plastic-free products a year, Cullen is already well underway with a £15m expansion of their existing 14-acre UK manufacturing site.

The final five Earthshot Prize winners will be announced at a ceremony in South Africa in November 2024, and will be decided by the Earthshot Council including Prince Willian, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Cate Blanchett and David Attenborough.

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