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Coca-Cola promises 'greener' drinks bottles

Updated: 2013-04-17 10:52
By Shi Jing in Shanghai ( China Daily)

Coca-Cola promises 'greener' drinks bottles

A Coca-Cola vehicle stops in the city of Jilin, Jilin province. The company's new PlantBottle packaging will be used to distribute its 888ml and 1 liter sparkling products. [Provided to China Daily]

Coca-Cola has revealed plans to sell its fizzy drinks, including Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta, in "greener" plastic bottles in China.

According to the company, the recycled plastic, or PET, bottles now going to be used will be the first to be made partially from plants, in this case, sugarcane waste.

Existing PET (or polyethylene terephthalate) bottles are made from non-renewable petroleum, but the new PlantBottle to be used in China has been created from one of the key ingredients from sugarcane for PET plastic, called monoethylene glycol, which represents 30 percent of the total composition of PET plastic by weight.

Coca-Cola is working with local partners on the potential of utilizing cellulose from plants.

If it succeeds, plant waste that can be found anywhere in the world such as stems, stalks and bark could be used as valuable resources, officials said.

Huang Xiaoyan, a research fellow and director of global external technology acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co, which has led the material innovation of the PlantBottle, said the packaging looks, functions and recycles just like traditional PET plastic, but does so with a smaller environmental footprint.

"It is understood that plants are renewable - but petroleum will be exhausted one day.

"Therefore, we started research on this sustainable packaging in 2006. Currently, we are using sugarcane from Brazil."

The new PlantBottle packaging will be used to distribute the company's 888 ml and 1 liter sparkling products, and will initially be launched in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Liaoning province.

The new packaging actually started being distributed in supermarkets there in March.

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