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

China's PVC exports face challenges

August 22, 2014 2:14 pm ET

Despite robust growth in the first half of the year, China's PVC exports now faces new challenges, due to trade barriers and new capacity ramping up...    More

Image

Westminster Tool creates academy to find, train future toolmakers

August 22, 2014 2:06 pm ET

Westminster Tool Inc. begins its own Westminster Academy to find and train skilled employees.    More

Image

Prosthetic arm concept wins in student thermoforming competition

August 22, 2014 1:56 pm ET

Pressure forming company Freetech Plastics Inc. has returned with its annual Student Thermoformed Part Competition, intended to expand the exposure...    More

Image

Composite bridge maker also leading the way in installation

August 22, 2014 1:21 pm ET

Lightweight, low maintenance and strong, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge decks finally are crossing the line from specialty projects to wider...    More

Image

Reiloy Westland to build new headquarters

August 22, 2014 12:53 pm ET

Reiloy Westland Corp. will build a 45,000-square-foot headquarters factory, as the Kansas maker of screws and barrels expands under the ownership of G...    More

Market Reports

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

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events