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Thursday 03 October, 2019


Breakthrough technology takes plastic from the ocean and uses it in a Coca-Cola bottle

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  • Sample bottle revealed as Coca-Cola sets out ambitious new sustainable packaging goals for Western Europe[1], in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners
  • New goals include ambition to accelerate its target from 50% to 100% recycled or renewable material in its plastic bottles

Today, Coca-Cola unveiled its first ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks. 

Through a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The Coca-Cola Company, about 300 sample bottles were made using 25% recycled marine plastic[2] retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.  The bottles were designed and developed to show the transformational potential of revolutionary enhanced recycling technologies, which can recycle previously used PET plastics of any quality back to high-quality plastic that can be used for food or drink packaging, including material that would previously have been sent to incineration or landfill.  The sample bottle is the first ever plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for food and drink packaging.

It is being announced as Coca-Cola in Western Europe sets out new goals, in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners, to support its ambition for a world without packaging waste.  

In 2017, as part of their joint Sustainability Action Plan, Coca-Cola European Partners and Coca-Cola in Western Europe pledged that, by 2025, Coca-Cola will: collect a can or bottle for every one that it sells; ensure that all of its packaging is 100% recyclable; ensure that at least 50% of the content of its plastic bottles will come from recycled content.  In 2019, in Western Europe, the Coca-Cola System invested 180m euros in sustainable packaging, both across its operations and in the incubation of new packaging and packaging-free solutions for the future. 

Today they are announcing further goals designed to accelerate their delivery of a sustainable packaging roadmap for Western Europe, ensuring that all of their packaging is collected, recycled and reused.  These include:

  • Working to remove all unnecessary or hard to recycle plastic from its portfolio, through lightweighting and the removal of all secondary packaging made from plastic. This will avoid the use of more than 11,000 tonnes of plastic per year. Coca-Cola European Partners recently announced that in Western Europe, it would move from plastic shrink wrap to 100% recyclable cardboard for its multipack cans, removing 4000 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain in 2020. It also recently transitioned its Sprite brand from green to clear PET plastic bottles, which are easier to recycle bottle to bottle
  • Working towards 100% recycled or renewable materials in all of its plastic bottles, avoiding the use of over 200,000 tonnes of virgin plastic every year.  Coca-Cola in Western Europe will reach 50% recycled content in its plastic bottles two years earlier than its stated goal (by 2023, rather than 2025)In July, Coca-Cola in Western Europe announced that its Honest, Glaceau Smartwater and Chaudfontaine brands would all transition to 100% recycled plastic in their bottles in 2019/20.
  • Support for well-designed deposit return schemes across Western Europe, where a successful proven alternative does not already exist, in line with its goal to collect a bottle or can for every one that it sells by 2025.  Coca-Cola, with its bottling partners, will also support well-designed DRS across its wider European markets, where effective alternatives are not already in place
  • Transparent disclosure of its packaging footprint on an annual basis by packaging type, as well as reporting on performance against stated commitments and goals.

Tim Brett, President for Coca-Cola Western Europe, said: “Too many of the world’s finite resources are currently discarded as waste.  We know we need to do more to correct this.  The targets we have set out today are ambitious and rightly so. There is a valuable role for packaging, but it must always be collected, recycled and reused.  Our aim, working in partnership, is to see the term “single-use plastic” become redundant, both in our business and beyond, as all of our plastic – and indeed all of our packaging - is delivered within a closed loop”.

Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola in Western Europe, said: “This bottle is testament to what can be achieved, through partnership and investment in revolutionary new technologies. In bringing together partners from across our supply chain, from a community clean up partnership in Spain and Portugal to an investment in technological innovation in the Netherlands, we have been able, for the first time, to bring damaged marine plastic back to food-grade material to make new bottles.

“Enhanced recycling technologies are enormously exciting, not just for us but for industry and society at large.  They accelerate the prospect of a closed loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill.”

The marine plastic bottle has been developed as proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time.  In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables.  From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.

A newly formed Packaging Innovation Hub will continue to focus and accelerate investment and innovation in sustainable packaging solutions across Western Europe. These include continuing investment in enhanced recycling technologies, as well as alternative packaging solutions for the future, such as paper bottles, bio-based packaging materials, refillable-returnable and packaging-free alternatives, like its dispensed Freestyle or wider micro-dosing solutions.

You can find out more about the journey of the marine plastic bottle at: https://www.coca-cola.eu/news/marine-bottle

To find out more about The Coca-Cola Company’s wider goals and actions on packaging waste, please visit: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/world-without-waste

-ENDS-

 

 MORE ABOUT OUR MARINE PLASTIC BOTTLE

  • Coca-Cola unveiled its first ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that one day, ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks.
  • This is also the first ever plastic bottle made using marine plastics that has been successfully recycled and reused for food and drink packaging
  • Approximately 300 sample marine plastic bottle prototypes have been made using 25% recovered and recycled marine plastics and are a product of revolutionary new enhanced recycling technology, also known as depolymerization technology
  • Enhanced recycling is a chemical process which now makes it possible for lower grade PET plastics to be broken down, stripped of impurities, and rebuilt to virgin-grade quality – and importantly, to meet the standards required to contain products for human consumption
  • This means that lower grade plastics, non-transparent and coloured plastics, can now be recovered and upcycled back into food-grade packaging materials, with their value returned, not just once, but again and again
  • The sample bottles have been produced to demonstrate what can be achieved through enhanced recycling technologies and are a product of several key partnerships:
    • Coastal clean ups: the marine plastic contained in the bottles was collected and recovered by volunteers that participated in 84 beach cleanups in Spain and Portugal and fishermen in 12 ports across the Mediterranean Sea, as part of the Mares Circulares or “Circular Seas” project.  Mares Circulares, partially funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, is a collaboration between the Coca-Cola system in Iberia, Spain's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food & the Environment and three leading non-profit organisations — Chelonia Association, Ecomar Foundation and Vertidos Cero Association. The shared objective of the intervention scheme is to clean beaches and sea beds in Spain and Portugal, by collecting and recycling marine litter. The project also aims to raise awareness of responsible waste disposal to stop litter from arriving in natural spaces, as well as facilitate related scientific studies and a start-up to promote circular economy.  Over 170 public and private organisations, such as local municipalities, NGOs, universities, and environmental and community associations, help make this happen.
      • Technological innovation: In January 2019, Coca-Cola extended a loan to Ioniqa Technologies in the Netherlands to help scale its proprietary enhanced recycling technology.  The marine litter collected through Mares Circulares was recycled by Ioniqa Technologies, using the depolymerization process, back into the building blocks needed to make food-grade PET
      • Industry collaboration: Indorama Ventures, one of Coca-Cola’s suppliers of PET plastic and packaging solutions, subsequently converted this material into the PET plastic required to make the first Coca-Cola bottle – and the world’s first drinking bottle – made with marine plastics  
    • The marine plastic bottle has been developed as proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time.  In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables.  From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.
    • As the technology scales, by boosting the quantity and quality of recycled plastic available for use at food-grade level, it will correspondingly reduce and replace the use of virgin PET originating through fossil fuels, reducing the carbon footprint of packaging, not just for Coca-Cola, but for industry at large, and making a closed loop, circular economy for plastics a future reality
    • Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa Technologies, said: “The impact of enhanced recycling will be felt on a global scale: by working with Coca-Cola and Indorama to produce this bottle, we aim to show what this technology can deliver.   Our new plant is now operational and we are bringing this technology to scale.  In doing so, we aim to eliminate the concept of single use plastic and plastic waste altogether.”
    • Yash Lohia, Chief Recycling Officer (CRO) of INDORAMA’s Recycling Business Group and Board Member of Indorama Ventures, said: “By collaborating with new ventures in enhanced recycling technologies, we have the opportunity to reshape and redefine the future of plastic packaging, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. PET of any quality can now be recycled and upcycled, at the same time resulting in a lower carbon footprint for packaging.”
    • You can find out more about how the sample bottles were made at: https://www.coca-cola.eu/news/marine-bottle

About The Coca-Cola Company:

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS plant-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Costa coffee, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.comand follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Coca-Cola European Partners

Coca-Cola European Partners plc (CCEP) is a leading consumer goods company in Europe, selling, making and distributing an extensive range of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages and is the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on revenue. Coca-Cola European Partners serves a consumer population of over 300 million across Western Europe, including Andorra, Belgium, continental France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

About Ioniqa Technologies

Ioniqa is a clean-tech spinoff from the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands), specialized in creating value out of waste by using its proprietary circular technology. With a cost-effective process, Ioniqa is able to close the loop for plastics, starting with PET plastics. This award winning innovation transforms all types and colors of PET waste into valuable sources for ‘virgin-quality’ recycled PET. Up-cycling processes for other types of plastic are being researched and expected to be launched in the near future

Contact:

Ioniqa Technologies, Eindhoven (NL): Telephone +31 40 751 76 30, Web: Ioniqa.com, Email: info@ioniqa.com, Twitter: @IoniqaCircular

About Indorama Ventures

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia, Europe and Americas. The company’s portfolio comprises Integrated PET, Fibers, Packaging, Specialty Chemicals and Olefins. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and Automotive sectors, i.e. Beverages, Hygiene, Personal Care, Tire and Safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 19,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of US$ 10.7 billion in 2018. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

Indorama Ventures is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand with global operating sites in

EMEA:

The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, France, UK, Italy, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal, Israel, Egypt, Russia, Slovakia, Austria

Americas:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Brazil

Asia:

Thailand, Indonesia, China, India, the Philippines, Myanmar

Contacts

Richard Jones
Tel: +662.661.6661 ext. 680
richard.j@indorama.net



[1] All references to Western Europe refer to markets where Coca-Cola European Partners is active:  Andorra, Belgium, continental France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

[2] Final recycled marine plastic content in the bottle will vary post production, between 20-25%

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