The Coca-Cola Co. yesterday unveiled a new plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based materials, but the company has yet to reveal plans for commercial production of the package. The PET bottle, an extension of Coke’s PlantBottle technology, is made from natural sugars derived from sugarcane plants as well as “waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process” that are converted into ingredients used for PET containers.
It’s an upgrade to the current PlantBottle, which uses up to 30 percent plant-based materials per bottle, and accounts for 30 percent of the Coke’s packaging volume in North America and 7 percent globally, according to the company. Coke describes the PlantBottle, used for a variety of its soda, water and tea brands, as a key to its “vision to develop a more responsible plant-based alternative to packaging traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials.”
While Coke did not detail a timeline for a test or launch of the new100 percent plant-based PET bottle, the company did state a goal to convert all new PET plastic bottles, to PlantBottle packaging by 2020.
Here is Coke’s press release announcing the new PlantBottle:
MILAN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company today unveiled the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant materials at the World Expo – Milan. PlantBottle™ packaging pushes the boundaries on sustainable innovation by using groundbreaking technology to create a fully recyclable plastic bottle made from renewable plant materials.
PlantBottle packaging is The Coca-Cola Company’s vision to develop a more responsible plant-based alternative to packaging traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials. PlantBottle packaging uses patented technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET plastic bottles. The packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its scarce resources.
Nancy Quan, Global Research and Development Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, said, “Today is a pioneering milestone within our Company’s packaging portfolio. Our vision was to maximize game-changing technology, using responsibly sourced plant-based materials to create the globe’s first fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made entirely from renewable materials. We are delighted to unveil the first bottles here at World Expo – a world-class exhibition where sustainable innovation is celebrated.”
PlantBottle packaging maintains the high quality package consumers expect but with the added benefit of being made from renewable materials. It can be used for a variety of packaging sizes and across water, sparkling, juice and tea beverage brands. Today, the company uses sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process to create PlantBottle packaging. Both materials meet The Coca-Cola Company’s established sustainability criteria used to identify plant-based ingredients for PlantBottle material. These guiding principles include demonstrating improved environmental and social performance as well as avoiding negative impacts on food security.
Since the 2009 launch, The Coca-Cola Company has distributed more than 35 billion bottles in nearly 40 countries using its current version of PlantBottle packaging which is made from up to 30% plant-based materials. It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging since launch has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The Coca-Cola Company plans to continue investment in its award-winning PlantBottle packaging.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company