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

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Image

HRS adding more North American production for hot runners

April 22, 2014 12:57 pm ET

An Italian tooling component supplier is set to open a new production plant in Grand Rapids, Mich. The HRS Flow Division of San Polo di Piace-...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Europe's bag use still expected to climb despite possible bag restrictions

April 22, 2014 9:29 am ET

Ceresana, a Germany-based research company, has released a report forecasting that by 2020 the sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe will reach 9....    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events