Partnership helps Coke push ahead with plant-based PET

Mike Verespej

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability, Packaging, Blow Molding

ATLANTA (Sept. 27, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Continuing its promise to build up the worldwide capacity to produce bio-based mono ethylene glycol for its PET bottles, Coca-Cola Co. is partnering with an Indian company to build a second bMEG plant, this one in Brazil.

The 500,000 metric ton per year plant will be larger than the current plant in India that now supplies Coke with bMEG.

Atlanta-based Coke expects construction of the plant in Araraquara, Brazil, to begin by the end of the year with a target completion date of late 2014. Its partner is JBF Industries Ltd., a Mumbai, India, company that makes bottle-grade PET, PET chips, partially oriented yarn and fully drawn yarn in several locations worldwide.

Coke’s supplier that operates the bMEG plant in India is India Glycols Ltd., which is headquartered in Kolkata.

The Brazil plant is part of Coke’s plan to have plant-based resin in all of its plastic bottles by 2020. Mono ethylene glycol represents 30 percent of the weight of a PET bottle.

Coke’s ultimate goal is to have its PlantBottle made 100 percent from plants. It has invested in three other companies to develop plant-based purified terephthalic acid — which accounts for the other 70 percent of PET.

“This further demonstrates our commitment to growing plant-based PET and realizing our goal of having our first generation PlantBottle package in 100 percent of our bottles by 2020,” Scott Vitters, Coke’s general manager of the PlantBottle Packaging Innovation Platform, told Plastics News in an email. “It is our next big milestone in expanding [bMEG] supply globally.”

There is no timetable for when Coke will incorporate plant-based PTA into its bottles on a commercial scale. But in a recent interview with Plastics News, Vitters said the company’s PTA technology investments “are tracking where we expected them to be.”

“We want to move the growth of the PlantBottle worldwide with the right feedstock solutions,” Vitters said. “We will make continued investments to build out capacity for bio-ethylene glycol. We need to ensure the availability of plant feedstock in local markets. We believe you have to have feedstock locally where you build your plants.”

More than 10 billion PlantBottles — with bio-based mono ethylene glycol — have been sold in 24 countries since December 2009. By the end of the year, 8-10 percent of Coke’s total PET resin consumption will be plant-based, Vitters said.

“Our partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. will help us further expand global production,” added Ronald Lewis, vice president of procurement and chief procurement officer for Coca-Cola. No further details on the investment and partnership between the two companies were disclosed.

The plant in Brazil will use locally-grown sugarcane and sugarcane processing waste to make the ethanol feedstock. Roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil would be needed each year to make that same amount of ethylene, according to Coke.

To date, Coke said the PlantBottle has eliminated the equivalent of almost 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or the equivalent of 200,000 barrels of oil, from Coke’s PET packaging.

Equally as critical, the PlantBottle has also paid dividends for Coke in increased sales.

“We continue to see encouraging results from its ability to drive growth for our business,” Vitters said. “We’ve seen encouraging market signals and indicators of the PlantBottle being able to drive growth.”


Comments

Partnership helps Coke push ahead with plant-based PET

Mike Verespej

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

RPC expansion provides the space needed for continued growth

September 22, 2014 11:46 am ET

MORGANTOWN, PA. — Success, over time, created a challenge for RPC Bramlage-Wiko USA Inc. in this rural Eastern Pennsylvania town....    More

Image

The milk man will be toting plastic bottles to UK homes in the future

September 22, 2014 11:17 am ET

The United Kingdom's largest dairy company is about to replace its final glass bottles with plastic.    More

Image

Poland's Boryszew to work with Mitsui on lightweight auto parts

September 22, 2014 10:12 am ET

European plastics car parts maker Boryszew Group has signed a letter of intent to work with the Japanese investment and trading conglomerate Mitsui & ...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in Shenzhe...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events