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 Fiber Bottle’ (or Fibre Bottle in Europe) 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 Fiber 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 Fiber Bottle is now shelf-ready at scale, with Cullen already producing hundreds of millions of molded fiber bottles for the healthcare sector across 34 countries globally.

The landmark Fiber Bottle is launched in one design iteration, but thanks to Cullen’s bespoke service, the innovator can create any size or color that FMCG brands can conceive. Within just one month, the firm’s in-house design, engineering and manufacturing teams can create a bespoke molded fiber alternative for most plastic packaging, of which the Fiber Bottle is the latest example. Upon approval, the sustainable units can be made affordably and quickly at commercial scale. So more brands will be able to seamlessly replace plastic with 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 Fiber Bottle by Cullen is the only one that can be produced affordably at a commercial scale. The fiber-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 Fiber Bottles per year from today. It’s not just bright innovation and smart design that will allow us to remove single-use 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 molded fiber products are significantly better when compared to plastic. For a single-use packaging product of the same size and functionality, molded fiber 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 it 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.”

Cullen is Europe’s only combined manufacturer of molded fiber and corrugate packaging. Its products are already almost everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colors, 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 utilizes the waste they produce from their corrugated manufacturing process to make their molded fiber products including The Fiber Bottle.