For decades, Coca-Cola has been focused solely on perfecting that refreshing taste. But over the past several years, there’s been a huge push by the soft drink label to show the world that it’s ecologically responsible in its operations.
This week, Coca-Cola announced that it will further expand production of the plant-based material used in the company’s PlantBottle packaging. The soda-maker is teaming up with a company called JBF Industries to mass produce lower-carbon plastics. Coca-Cola’s ultimate goal is to use PlantBottle packaging technology in all of its plastic bottles by 2020.
Ronald J. Lewis is Vice President, Procurement & Chief Procurement Officer at The Coca-Cola Company. He says, “The benefits of sustainable innovation are only fully realized when commercialized and put in the hands of consumers. In 2009, we introduced the world to our PlantBottle package – the first recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants. Today, Coca-Cola has sold more than 10 billion PlantBottle™ packages around the world that are less dependent on petroleum and have a lower carbon impact. We are pleased that our partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. will help us further expand global production.”
JBF Industries says it’s going to build the world’s largest facility to produce bio-glycol – the key ingredient used to make PlantBottle packaging. The facility will be located in Brazil. And will produce the ingredient using locally sourced sugarcane and sugarcane processing waste.
Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and last for 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of non-renewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year.
Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle packaging is used in more than 24 countries worldwide and across a wide variety of Coca-Cola products. Since the package launched in 2009, the company says its use has eliminated the equivalent of almost 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of 200,000 barrels of oil from The Coca-Cola Company’s PET plastic packaging.