Coca-Cola bottles made from sea plastic

New PET sample bottles are made of sea plastic: Coca-Cola wants to show its breakthrough in recycling with the label color turquoise.

Coca-Cola presented new bottles in London. Not only do they have a new design, they are also made of a different material. So far, they have only been sample bottles, and there are currently no plans to sell them on the market. But this is the first time that plastics from the sea have been successfully recycled in a food-safe bottle. The proportion of the material used in the finished bottle is 25 percent.

The sample bottles were developed to demonstrate the potential of improved recycling technologies. The latest methods make it possible to transform used plastics of any quality back into high-quality plastics. The depolymerization process is used here, in which the PET (polymers) is broken down into its original building blocks (monomers). These monomers are easier to clean. Then they can be repolymerized – to PET material of almost pure quality.

In partnership with Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures and Mares Circulares, Coca-Cola has produced nearly 300 of these bottles. The improved recycling can be used to recycle previously non-recyclable plastic waste, including materials destined for incineration or landfill, into beverage and food packaging (so-called food grade PET).

According to information supplied by the Group, the plastic bottles used for the production were collected by volunteers in 84 beach cleaning sessions in Spain and Portugal and by fishermen at collection points in 12 Mediterranean ports,.

In addition to many steps taken towards sustainability, packaging is to be made lighter and all superfluous or difficult-to-recycle plastic packaging is to be removed from the range. According to Coca-Cola, this will save more than 11,000 tonnes (metric tons) of plastic a year. Coca-Cola European Partners recently announced that its multipacks in Western Europe will use 100 percent recyclable cardboard instead of plastic shrink film. This means that 4,000 tons fewer will be used already in 2020 and further reductions in the supply chain will be achieved in future.

 

Axel Bachmann, Managing Director Sustainability Sales/Marketing, for Coca-Cola European Partners, talks about changing beverage packaging at the independent packaging congress of PACKAGING360°. The congress will take place on 28 and 29 November 2019 at the Hilton in Frankfurt am Main. More information on the program and registration can be found here.