Coca-Cola introduced the world’s first bottle, which was created using recycled plastic waste from the oceans. The global giant has launched an initial edition of 300 bottles made of 25% plastic from the marine waste collected by volunteers on beaches and sea beds in Spain and Portugal.
The company has admitted that it is constantly working on a “breakthrough technology,” with the purpose of showing the transformative potential of the new recycling technologies. These technologies can recycle highly degraded PET plastic to high-quality plastic that can be used for food or beverage packaging.
If the idea is implemented for mass production, Coca-Cola will be the first company in the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) segment to start selling drinks and food in plastic waste packaging.
A new idea for recycling:
The improved recycling technology results from a partnership between Coca-Cola and the Dutch startup Ioniqa Technologies and the supplier of plastics, Indorama Ventures.
Volunteers collected the marine plastic waste during 84 beach cleanups in Spain and Portugal, and fishermen brought floating plastic back to 12 Mediterranean ports.
The material was processed by Ioniqa Technologies, which used depolymerization technology to break down the PET into its monomers that allow it to be re-produced as a new. It was then sent to an Indorama Ventures facility to be polymerized into new plastic.
The future of Coca-Cola plastic:
The marine plastic bottle has been developed as a proof of concept of what technology can achieve in the future. “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,” according to Coca-Cola’s announcement.
On the other hand, Coca-Cola established clear objectives to work towards a World without Waste. It plans to use only 100% recyclable packaging and ensure that future bottles will be made from 50% recycled plastic by 2030.