Food Engineering

Beverage processors make the switch to ‘greener' bottles

January 1, 2010


Coca-Cola and NAYA Waters are leading the way in cutting petroleum out of PET plastics in beverage bottles. Sources: The Coca-Cola Co., NAYA

Two beverage companies are doing their part to decrease the amount of petroleum used in the making of their bottles-one by substituting a portion of plant-based resin for petroleum-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and the other by using completely recycled material, called rPET. The manufacturers are The Coca-Cola Company and NAYA (Les Eaux Naya Inc.) of Mirabel, QC, Canada.

“We are taking a major step along our sustainable packaging journey as The Coca-Cola Company becomes the first-to-market with a recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants,” said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chairman and CEO. “From Coke brands in Copenhagen to DASANI water in the Western United States, we are starting to roll out the first generation of the bottle of the future.”

Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle uses up to 30% plant-based resins, but varies according to how much recycled materials are used in the composition. In Denmark, the combined plant-based and recycled content makes up 65% of the material, with 50% coming from recycled material and 15% from the plant-based substance. The company’s vision is to eventually achieve a bottle made from 100% plant-waste material while remaining completely recyclable.

“We’re proud to be the first major spring water brand to introduce 100% recycled plastic bottles, which is a victory for the environment,” said Daniel Cotte, president of NAYA Waters. Not only are the bottles made of 100% recycled materials, they’re also completely recyclable. Approved by Health Canada, the rPET bottles meet the same rigorous safety standards as virgin plastic bottles. The bottles, which had been under development for seven years, are made from plastic previously used as packaging.

While turning a used plastic bottle into a clean, reusable bottle requires energy and emits carbon, using 100% rPET compared to virgin plastic significantly reduces both. Specifically, NAYA reduces the full lifecycle carbon footprint of its 1.5 liter bottle by 30% when using rPET versus the same bottle made with virgin plastic.