By: Mike Verespej
September 27, 2012
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
The 500,000 metric ton per year plant will be larger than the current plant in
Atlanta-based Coke expects construction of the plant in
Coke’s supplier that operates the bMEG plant in
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
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.”