Coca-Cola has unveiled a prototype bottle made almost entirely of plant-based plastic. The only exceptions are the lid and label. The company says the technology is now ready to be used by stakeholders throughout the value chain.
Coca-Cola has unveiled a prototype of a new bottle. According to the company, it is the first bottle made entirely of plant-based plastic (bPET), apart from the cap and label. Only materials from renewable, plant-based sources are used to make the new prototype, eliminating the need to use crude oil to produce these bottles.
Back in 2009, Coca-Cola developed the “PlantBottle”, a recyclable PET plastic bottle made from 30 percent plant-based material. Since then, the company has continued to invest in the development of plant-based solutions. The new prototype is the first planned commercial use of technology to convert second-generation biomass to plant-based monoethylene glycol (bMEG). This is one of the two molecules necessary to produce so-called bPET.
Suitable for existing recycling infrastructure
The prototype presented by Coca-Cola is the result of a collaboration between various technology companies, including Changchun Meihe and Virent Inc. The prototype bottle was produced in a limited edition of around 900 units. The bottle is fully recyclable. It can be fed to existing recycling infrastructures – analogous to crude oil-based PET – and used to produce recycled PET, Coca-Cola asserts.
“We are taking significant steps to reduce use of virgin oil-based plastic as we work toward a shared ambition of zero net carbon emissions by 2050,” said Nancy Quan, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer at The Coca-Cola Company. “For a long time, we have been working with partners to develop the right technologies to achieve 100 percent plant-based materials, aiming for the lowest possible carbon footprint.” She said they have now reached a point where these technologies are available and can be used by stakeholders throughout the value chain.