Coca-Cola Co. has unveiled the world's first PET bottle made entirely from plant materials.
PlantBottle uses patented technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET bottles. The packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET.
Showcasing the new bottle at the World Expo in Milan, Nancy Quan, global research and development officer at Atlanta-based Coke, said: “Today is a pioneering milestone within our company's packaging portfolio.
“Our vision was to maximize game-changing technology, using responsibly sourced plant-based materials to create the globe's first fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made entirely from renewable materials.
“We are delighted to unveil the first bottles here at World Expo — a world-class exhibition where sustainable innovation is celebrated.”
The PlantBottle can be used for a variety of packaging sizes and across water, sparkling, juice and tea beverage brands. Since its 2009 launch, Coke has distributed more than 35 billion bottles in nearly 40 countries using its current version of PlantBottle packaging, which is made from up to 30 percent plant-based materials.
It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The World Wildlife Fund said plant-based plastics, if responsibly produced, allows the public to continue to benefit from the value that plastics provide but without the negative environmental effects of using fossil fuels.
Sustainable research and development manager Erin Simon said: “With every technological advance made in the bioplastic industry comes the opportunity to continue to scale the impact of more sustainable production for the materials we depend on today.
“We're working with major companies around the world, including the Coca-Cola Co., to consider all the trade-offs involved with plant-based plastics. We all want to make sure that as we shift from fossil fuel based feedstocks to biobased feedstocks for materials we provide net positive solutions without putting additional strain on precious land and water resources.”