Coca-Cola, Ford, Heinz, Nike and Procter & Gamble have announced the formation of the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC), a strategic working group focused on accelerating the development and use of 100 per cent plant-based PET materials and fibre in their products.
The new collaboration is intended to build on the success of The Coca-Cola Company’s PlantBottle™ packaging, which is made of up to 30 per cent plant-based material and has a lower environmental impact than traditional PET plastic bottles.
Coca-Cola currently license the technology to Heinz for use in ketchup bottles across the US and Canada but the company is hoping that the new collaboration will see the concept rolled out more widely.
PET, also known as polyethylene terephthalate, is a durable, lightweight plastic that is used in a variety of products and materials including plastic bottles, apparel, footwear, automotive fabric and carpet. But the market for alternatives with a lower environmental footprint is growing steadily.
“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 (WWF).
“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.”
The new collaborative will leverage the combined research and development efforts of the founding companies, to support the development of new technologies capable of taking today’s plant-based PET that is only partially made from plants to a solution made entirely from plants.
PTC members will also strive to develop common methodologies and standards for the use of plant-based plastic including life cycle analyses and universal terminology.
The UK Renewable Packaging Group – run by NNFCC – serves a similar role in the UK and Europe and is designed to encourage the development of more sustainable materials and packaging. To get involved in the UK Renewable Packaging Group contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: NNFCC, 2012-06-06.