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Coke works with Indorama and Ioniqa to produce bottles from marine plastics



Coke works with Indorama and Ioniqa to produce bottles from marine plastics

Beverage giant Coca-Cola is unveiling its first ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that, one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks. This sample is also the first ever example of food and drink packaging made using marine litter.

About 300 bottles have been produced using 25% recycled marine plastic, retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.

The sample bottle is the result of a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Thai materials supplier Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and Coca-Cola Company. Although enhanced recycling is still in its infancy, the partners are producing the sample marine plastic bottle as a proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time.

In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables. From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.

The marine plastic bottle has been developed to show the transformational potential of revolutionary ‘enhanced recycling’ technologies, which can recycle previously used PET of any quality back to the high-quality needed for food or drinks packaging.

Enhanced recycling technologies use innovative processes that break down the components of plastic and strip out impurities in lower-grade recyclables so they can be rebuilt as good as new. This means that lower-grade plastics that were often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life. It also means more materials are available to make recycled content, reducing the amount of virgin PET needed from fossil fuels, and resulting in a lower carbon footprint.

Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola Western Europe, says the potential for the technology is huge: “Enhanced recycling technologies are enormously exciting, not just for us but for industry and society at large.  They accelerate the prospect of a closed-loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill.”


(PRA)


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