Coca-Cola ‘upcycles’ first bottles using low-grade plastic scooped up from the ocean
Coca-Cola has made bottles from ocean plastic, citing “breakthrough technology” which could be the future of packaging.
The bottles are made from what was previously low-quality marine waste plastic, which has been “upcycled” using a groundbreaking new process into high-quality plastic.
On Thursday, the company unveiled 300 sample bottles made of ocean plastic as prototypes to be tested, with the hopes that one day these can become part of the commercial supply chain.
The plastics for the bottles were retrieved as litter from the Mediterranean and beaches.
T he sample bottle is the first ever plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for use in food and drink packaging.
The company is using a process called depolymerisation, which means lower grade plastics can be broken down and reformed, with impurities stripped out, to be rebuilt as good as new into the materials used to create food-grade quality PET plastic.
Previously, lower-grade, non-transparent and coloured plastics could not be “upcycled” into bottles. However, this new technology that Coca-Cola is using enables the previously less valuable plastics to be used for bottles.
Coca-Cola plans to roll out its first bottles using enhanced recycled content at commercial scale in 2020.
Tim Brett, President for Coca-Cola Western Europe, said: “Too many of the world’s finite resources are currently discarded as waste. We know we need to do more to correct this. The targets we have set out today are ambitious and rightly so.
“There is a valuable role for packaging, but it must always be collected, recycled and reused. Our aim, working in partnership, is to see the term “single-use plastic” become redundant, both in our business and beyond, as all of our plastic – and indeed all of our packaging – is delivered within a closed loop”.