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Your next ketchup bottle may be made from paper instead of plastic or glass

Heinz ketchup is looking to go green through a partnership that would trade its plastic and glass bottles for a paper-based recyclable bottle made from wood pulp.

The deal marks the latest big consumer brand to sign on with Pulpex -- a joint venture between the liquor company Diageo and a startup investment studio, Pilot Lite -- and try out the company's paper replacement for plastic packaging.

Other big name brands including the cosmetics company, Estée Lauder, the soda pop purveyor PepsiCo, and the food brand, personal care and cleaning giant Unilever are also early adopters.

“Packaging waste is an industrywide challenge that we must all do our part to address,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio. “That is why we are committed to taking steps to explore sustainable packaging solutions across our brands at Kraft Heinz, offering consumers more choices. This new HEINZ bottle is one example of how we are applying creativity and innovation to explore new ways to provide consumers with the products they know and love while also thinking sustainably.”

Heinz has set a goal to make all of its packaging globally recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 -- and the company said that it would help keep the company on its target for net-zero operations by 2050.

Currently in prototyping, Pulpex believes that its carbon footprint is less than glass or plastic on a bottle-by-bottle basis and that its products should be easy to recycle in existing paper waste streams.

Pulpex isn't the only new company on the market looking to make the question "paper of plastic?" obsolete. There's also an upstart French business called Papkot, that's working on applying proprietary coatings to paper in much the same fashion as Pulpex. And UK-based Sol-Gel Materials & Applications is also tackling the problem.

But neither early stage startup has yet to publicly announce contracts or partnerships with the kinds of brands that Pulpex has in the bag.

“We are delighted to work with HEINZ to bring our patented packaging technology to such a famous name in food and are excited about the potential of this collaboration,” said Scott Winston, Pulpex CEO. “We believe that the scope for paper-based packaging is huge, and when global household names like HEINZ embrace this type of innovative technology, it’s good news for everyone – consumers and the planet.”

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