The Alliance also provided a progress report in its goal of developing and launching a PET1 plastic bottle made from bio-based material. Launched in March 2017, the Alliance uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption. The technology being explored by the Alliance represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the Alliance aims to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry.
“Creating more sustainable packaging requires innovation through the value chain. Producing PET from sustainable bio-based sources that do not diminish food resources and are fully recyclable is a great example of such innovation and an important contributor to PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging program,” said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo vice chairman and chief scientific officer. “Through our Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo is committed to reducing the carbon impact of packaging in line with our goal to reduce absolute emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2030; bio-based PET has the potential to reduce significantly the carbon footprint of our PET bottles, a huge contribution to our efforts in this area. We are excited to add PepsiCo’s R&D capabilities to the Alliance and look forward to seeing what the combined efforts of the Alliance members can achieve.”
“PepsiCo is a welcome addition to the Alliance because we share the goal of making renewable plastic a reality,” declared Origin Materials CEO John Bissell. “Through the combined efforts of its members, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance is setting the bar for sustainability for an entire industry.”
After producing samples of 80 per cent bio-based PET at pilot scale in 2017, the Alliance has made further progress toward its goal of bringing its breakthrough technology to full commercial scale. It has notably selected a site in Sarnia, Ontario (Canada) (with the assistance of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada), and begun construction of its demonstration-scale plant. The major process equipment has been fabricated and modules are under construction for this plant, which is expected to have a capacity of 18,000 tons of biomass and be fully operational by 2020. Following that milestone, the Alliance plans to increase production to 95 per cent bio-based PET and achieve full commercial-scale soon after. Alliance members plan to continue their joint R&D efforts to increase the level of bio-based content, with the ultimate objective of reaching 100 per cent.