Beverage Industry

Coca-Cola among companies in Plant PET Technology Collaborative

June 5, 2012

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, as well as Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co., Pittsburgh-based The H.J. Heinz Co., Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc. and Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble announced the formation of the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC), a strategic working group focused on accelerating the development and use of 100 percent plant-based PET materials and fiber in their products. PET, also known as polyethylene terephthalate, is a durable, lightweight plastic that is used by all member companies in a variety of products and materials including plastic bottles, apparel, footwear and automotive fabric and carpet.

The collaborative builds upon the success of The Coca-Cola Co.'s PlantBottle packaging technology, which is partially made from plants and has demonstrated a lower environmental impact when compared to traditional PET plastic bottles, the company says. Currently, Heinz licenses the technology from Coca-Cola for select Heinz ketchup bottles in the United States and Canada.

The new collaborative was formed to support new technologies in an effort to evolve the current material that is partially made from plants to a solution made entirely from plants. PTC members are committed to researching and developing commercial solutions for PET plastic made entirely from plants and will aim to drive the development of common methodologies and standards for the use of plant-based plastic including lifecycle analyses and universal terminology.

"Fossil fuels like oil have significant impacts to the planet's biodiversity, climate and other natural systems," said Erin Simon, senior program officer of packaging for World Wildlife Fund, in a statement. "Sustainably managing our natural resources and finding alternatives to fossil fuels are both business and environmental imperatives. It's encouraging to see these leading companies use their market influence to reduce dependence on petroleum-based plastics. We hope other companies will follow their lead."