The Coca-Cola Co. just recently announced that they signed a multi-million dollar contract with three leading biotechnology companies in an effort to accelerate the developments of a 100% plant-based bottle. The partnership includes agreements with Virent, Gevo, and Avantium all combining their efforts to create the first commercial solution for next-generation PlantBottle™ packaging made 100% from plant-based materials. The partnership with the biotechnology could lead to practical results of a 100% plant-based PlantBottle available by 2017. Coca-Cola is expecting that all of its PET packaging will be replaced by the year 2020.
Coca-Cola’s current PlantBottle™, which was launched in 2009, is made from only 30% plant-based material. The remaining 70% of the bottle is made out of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which Coca-Cola hopes to replace with plant-based materials. Since the current bottle was first introduced in 2009, Coca Cola states that they it has already distributed more than 10 billion PlantBottle™ packages in 20 different countries worldwide. Coca-Cola estimates that it has helped save the equivalent emissions of more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
According to Coca-Cola, agreements with these three companies (Virent, Gevo and Avantium) will help support the companies long-term commitments through sustainable practices in sourcing and in packaging supply.
“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,” said Rick Frazier, vice president of commercial product supply for 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.”
As leaders in sustainable packaging, Coca-Cola also looks to innovate and advance opportunities to other companies throughout the industry and recently announced an industry first partnership with H.J. Heinz Company. This partnership will allow Heinz ketchup to use PlantBottle™ technology in its production.