Suntory Group has developed a prototype PET bottle made from 100% plant-based materials, excluding the cap and label.
The milestone follows a nearly decade-long partnership with sustainable technology company Anellotech.
The bottle was developed using Anellotech’s new technology, a plant-based paraxylene derived from wood chips, which has been converted to plant-based terephthalic acid (PTA).
Mono ethylene glycol (MEG) is the other raw material used to produce PET, and the prototype bottle has been developed with a plant-based MEG made from molasses.
Tsunehiko Yokoi, executive officer of Suntory Monozukuri Expert, said: “The significance of this technology is that the PTA is produced from non-food biomass to avoid competition with the food chain, while MEG is also derived from non-food-grade feedstock”.
The prototype has been produced for the company’s Orangina brand in Europe and its Suntory Tennensui bottled mineral water brand in Japan.
Suntory says that the prototype is estimated to have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared with a petroleum-derived virgin bottle, and the company aims to commercialise the fully recyclable plant-based bottle ‘as soon as possible’.
The innovation supports Suntory’s ambition to eliminate its use of petroleum-derived virgin PET plastic bottles globally by transitioning to 100% recycled or plant-based PET bottles by 2030.
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