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Coca-Cola and Partners to Develop Commercial Solutions for Plastic Bottles Made From Plants

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Coca-Cola and Partners to Develop Commercial Solutions for Plastic Bottles Made From Plants

Coca-Cola and Partners to Develop Commercial Solutions for Plastic Bottles Made From Plants
December 21
10:32 2011

The Coca-Cola Company has entered a multi-million dollar partnership with three leading biotechnology companies to accelerate development of the first commercial solutions for next-generation PlantBottle packaging made 100% from plant-based materials. This effort to commercialise a plastic bottle made entirely from plants builds on the soft drinks company’s ground-breaking introduction and roll-out of its first generation PlantBottle package which was the first ever recyclable PET beverage bottle made partially from plants. Since introduced in 2009, The Coca-Cola Company has already distributed more than 10 billion PlantBottle packages in 20 countries worldwide.

 

Agreements with Virent, Gevo and Avantium – industry leaders in developing plant-based alternatives to materials traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources – have been signed following an in-depth two year analysis of different technologies by The Coca-Cola Company’s R&D team and technical advisory board.

 

“While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent, Gevo and Avantium are companies that possess technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years,” explains Rick Frazier, vice president, commercial product supply, The Coca-Cola Company. “This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant-based materials.”

 

The Coca-Cola Company’s first generation PlantBottle packaging is the only fully recyclable PET bottle made with up to 30% plant-based material available today. PlantBottle packaging is made up of two components: MEG (mono-ethylene glycol), which makes up 30% of the PET, and is already made from plant materials, and PTA (purified terephthalic acid), which makes up the other 70%. In this next step, PTA will be replaced with plant-based materials, too.

 

It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging in the first two years alone has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Coca-Cola will continue to make investments in PlantBottle technology and aims to use PlantBottle packaging for the company’s entire virgin PET supply by 2020.

 

Earlier in 2011, The Coca-Cola Company announced an industry-first partnership with HJ Heinz that allows Heinz to produce its ketchup bottles using PlantBottle technology.

 

Separately, Coca-Cola already produces a fully recyclable HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic that is made 100% from plant material and is available through Odwalla juice brand products. While HDPE is an ideal package for some refrigerated juice products, it is not suitable for shelf-stable carbonated and still beverages.

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