Since introducing PlantBottle packaging – the first-ever fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants – Coca-Cola has distributed more than 25 billion of the bottles to thirsty consumers in 37 countries. The breakthrough technology also has helped catalyze a movement to redirect the entire polyester fiber and plastic resin industry toward a renewable future.
PlantBottle packaging now accounts for 30 percent of the company’s packaging volume in North America and 7 percent globally, making Coke the world’s largest bioplastics end user.
News arrived from Europe this past June that Coca-Cola is displaying 100% bio-based content Plant Bottles produced using paraxylene produced at Virent’s Madison, Wisconsin demonstration plant — the first demonstration scale production of a PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based materials.
The bottles were showcased as part of The Coca-Cola Company’s pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 a global showcase for sustainable innovation. Far Eastern New Century worked with Virent and The Coca-Cola Company to convert the BioFormPX to bio-PE.
Meanwhile in July Liquid Light and Coca Cola signed a technology development agreement to accelerate the development of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) from carbon dioxide. Liquid Light‘s technology enables more efficient use of plant material to make MEG, one of the major components used to make The Coca-Cola Company’s plant-based PET plastic bottle, representing up to 30% of Plant Bottles by weight.
For example, a bio-ethanol production facility could make bio-MEG from the CO2 byproduct that results from converting plant material into ethanol. The technology has the potential to reduce both the environmental footprint and the cost of producing MEG.
In June 2014, Avantium closed a financing round of $50 million from a consortium of iconic strategic players. This unique consortium consists of Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders. Follow on investments were made by existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, Capricorn Venture Partners, ING Corporate Investments, Aescap Venture, Navitas Capital, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen Capital.
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