Five major global firms are working together to speed up and expand the deployment of sustainable materials within packaging.
The Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) has been launched by Coca-Cola, Heinz, Ford, Procter & Gamble and Nike and it will act to back new technologies and measures that move present day partial plant-based materials to 100 per cent plant-based materials.
Each organisation involved in the PTC already uses PET (polyethylene terephthalate) - a strong, lightweight type of plastic - in its products, which combined include footwear, automotive carpet and bottles.
However, the joint venture's foundations lie in Coca-Cola's PlantBottle design, which has a lower carbon footprint than conventional PET bottles. Through an existing arrangement, certain Heinz ketchup products sold in North America are already in PlantBottles but the PTC's goal is to advance the use of plant-based PETs across multiple industries, setting new standards and developing new universal methodologies, analysis techniques and reference terms.
Plant PET Technology Collaborative
"Fossil fuels like oil have significant impacts to the planet's biodiversity, climate and other natural systems", the World Wildlife Fund's Senior Program Officer of Packaging, Erin Simon, explained in a Coca-Cola press release on the Plant PET Technology Collaborative issued on 6 June 2012.
She continued: "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."
Plant PET Plastics
Coca-Cola's press release announced the Plant PET plastics launch but stopped short of announcing specific projects. However, details of these should start to emerge in weeks ahead and will be covered by Packaging International in future News items.
‘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', the five-member group said in a joint statement.
PlantBottle image copyright Coca-Cola