The end of plastic bottles? Coca-Cola and Carlsberg support new, all-plant beverage containers that will rot to nothing in a year
- The Dutch biochemical company Avantium is developing a new plant plastic
- The material would form a protective, recyclable layer in a cardboard bottle
- Avantium hopes to have their new beverage containers on the shelves by 2023
Drink giants Coca-Cola and Carlsberg have supported a project to replace beverage packaging with a vegetable material that has completely broken down within a year.
The beverage companies see the future of their beverage packaging away from plastic and see the Plastic Bottle Project as a promising solution.
The project is managed by The Paper Bottle Company (Pabaco), a joint venture between the developer of paper packaging material BillerudKorsnäs and the specialist in bottle production ALPLA.
The Dutch biochemical company Avantium is part of the project and is working on the development of a plant material strong enough to contain drinks.
The Dutch biochemical company Avantium is part of the Plastic Bottle Project, which aims to produce a vegetable plastic material to replace normal plastics in food and beverage packaging
Drink giants Carlsberg and Coca-Cola partner with Avantium on the project and more food and beverage companies are expected to announce partnerships this summer
Their XYZ plant-to-plastic PEF material will form the reinforcing layer supporting the paper bottle.
If the paper and plant plastic are separated, the entire bottle can be recycled.
Avantium director Marcel Lubben said in October last year: “Participating in the Paper Bottle project and partnering with like-minded companies within the Paboco Pioneer Community – from bottle manufacturers to consumer brands – in developing new sustainable packaging materials is a great opportunity for Avantium.
“It is a milestone in the development of high-quality applications such as special bottles. The Paper Bottle shows how, together with partners with innovation, we can shape packaging for a circular and sustainable future. ‘
The plant plastic is produced by breaking down sustainable plant sugars into chemical structures and this is rearranged to get a new plant plastic
300 million tons of plastic are made annually from fossil fuels worldwide, the majority of which are not recycled and can take hundreds of years to degrade.
However, Avantium believes that their plant technology will be able to produce a new beverage packaging material within a year by 2023.
The plant plastic is produced by breaking down sustainable plant sugars into chemical structures and this is rearranged to get a new plant plastic.
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken: ‘This plastic has very attractive sustainability references because it does not use fossil fuels and can be recycled, but it would also be broken down in nature much faster than normal plastics.’
He also said he hopes to get the green light for investments in their plant-plastic technology by the end of the year.
An image on Avantium’s website shows the process they are undertaking to produce their PEF plant plastic, which is expected to be widely used by food and beverage companies for packaging by 2023
Avantium plans to reveal more collaborations with food and drink over the summer.
Beverage company Absolut, part of the Paper Bottle Project, is preparing to test their first-generation packaging.
Greenbiz reported in February that Absolut director of future packaging Louise Werner said, “While each pioneer builds independently, they will be able to work out and build on each other, but the collaboration will bring ideas.
“The idea is to trace the lessons back to all projects.”