Coca-Cola's new partnership speeds commercialization of PlantBottle

Posted: April 15, 2014 by
Linda Casey

The Coca-Cola Company’s new strategic partnership with Virent will accelerate the commercialization of 100% biobased PlantBottle packaging. Virent’s BioFormPX will be used in Coca-Cola’s existing supply chain to make 100% biobased PTA that will be mixed with biobased MEG to produce PlantBottle PET Resin with 100% biobased content. BioFormPX, is Virent’s plant-based paraxylene (PX).

Coca-Cola introduced the PlantBottle packaging in 2009, which consists of a conventional plastic made with up to 30 percent plant-based material. Since that time, The Coca-Cola Company has aggressively sought viable plant-based options for the remaining 70% of the material.

Virent and The Coca-Cola Company will rapidly progress both development and engineering under this effort, with Virent targeting 2015 for the first commercial plant opening. The majority of the PX produced from Virent’s first plant will be allocated for purchase by The Coca-Cola Company’s supply chain partners for the Company’s product packaging. Virent will reserve the remainder of the BioFormPX for market development in complementary PET and polyester applications.

“This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant-based materials,” says Rick Frazier, vice president of commercial product supply, The Coca-Cola Company. “While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent is a company that possesses technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years,”

"The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to provide its customers with PlantBottle packaging made from 100% renewable and recyclable materials is a bold example of visionary brand leadership," says Lee Edwards, CEO of Virent.

Learn more about The Coca-Cola Company’s PlantBottle project by listening to our sustainable packaging webinar that aired Tuesday, December 13. The Coca-Cola Company’s GM of the PlantBottle Packaging Platform Scott A. Vitters’ discussion of the PlantBottle Platform starts at 13:30. Use the slider bar in the left hand column to fast forward to the presentation.