The Coca-Cola Company and H.J. Heinz Company today announced a strategic partnership that enables Heinz to produce its ketchup bottles using Coca-Cola’s breakthrough PlantBottle™ packaging. The PET plastic bottles are made partially from plants and have a lower reliance on non-renewable resources compared with traditional PET plastic bottles. The partnership is an industry-first, and one that both companies hope others will follow to transform how food is packaged around the world.
PlantBottle™ packaging looks, feels and functions just like traditional PET plastic, and remains fully recyclable. The only difference is that up to 30 percent of the material is made from plants. The plant material is produced through an innovative process that turns natural sugars found in plants into a key component for PET plastic. Currently, PlantBottle™ is made using sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, the only source widely recognized by thought leaders globally for its unique environmental and social performance.
“PlantBottle™ is revolutionizing plastic, and our partnership with Heinz is paving the way for industry-wide collaboration,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “This partnership is a great example of how businesses are working together to advance smart technologies that make a difference to our consumers and the planet we all share.”
Heinz’s adoption of the PlantBottle™ technology will be the biggest change to its iconic ketchup bottles since they first introduced plastic in 1983.
“The partnership of Coca-Cola and Heinz is a model of collaboration in the food and beverage industry that will make a sustainable difference for the planet,” said Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson. “Heinz Ketchup is going to convert to PlantBottle™ globally, beginning with our best-selling 20-ounce variety of Heinz Ketchup, which will reach consumers this summer.”
Heinz will launch PlantBottle™ in all 20-ounce ketchup bottles in June with “talking labels” asking, “GUESS WHAT MY BOTTLE IS MADE OF?” Packaging will be identified by a special logo and on-pack messages. Switching to PlantBottle™ is another important step in Heinz’s global sustainability initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, water consumption and energy usage at least 20 percent by 2015.
Coca-Cola first launched PlantBottle™ in 2009 on brands that include Coke®, Sprite®, Fresca®, iLOHAS®, Sokenbicha® and DASANI® water. By using PlantBottle™ packaging across multiple brands, the Company is able to significantly reduce their dependence on non-renewable resources. An initial life-cycle analysis conducted by Imperial College London showed that the use of PlantBottle™ packaging provides a 12-19 percent reduction in carbon impact. In 2010 alone, the use of this breakthrough packaging eliminated the equivalent of almost 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or approximately 60,000 barrels of oil. Currently, PlantBottle™ can be found in nine markets including Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the United States. The Coca-Cola Company plans to expand to over a dozen new markets in 2011.
The iconic status of both brands will greatly raise awareness about the benefits of PlantBottle™ packaging. Heinz will introduce 120 million PlantBottle™ packages in 2011 and The Coca-Cola Company will use more than 5 billion during the same time. Together, the companies will significantly reduce potential carbon emissions while adding more renewable materials to the recycling stream. In time, plastic Heinz Ketchup bottles globally will be made from PlantBottle™ packaging and by 2020, Coca-Cola’s goal is to transition all of its plastic packaging to PlantBottle™ packaging.
Source: Heinz Company, press release, 2011-02-23.