Coca-Cola launched its PlantBottle® in the Benelux during the spring of 2011. The bottle is partly manufactured from plant-based plastic. Its design enables it to be recycled within the existing PMD circuit. In addition, its manufacture generates fewer CO2 emissions than standard PET bottles.
100 % recyclables bottles
Coca-Cola is active on the non alcoholic drinks market. Its main brands are Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Nestea, Chaudfontaine, Minute Maid, and Aquarius. The company developed its PlantBottle® in 2009. In Belgium, its launch took place during the spring of 2011 for 500 ml bottles of Coca-Cola, Coke light and Coke Zero. ‘Our bottles already contained 25% recycled PET. Now, they are also made of 22.5% plant-based materials. In addition, they are 100% recyclable,’ explains Jeroen Langerock, Corporate Identity, Public Affairs & Communications Director Belux at Coca-Cola. By the end of 2011, 80 million PlantBottles® had already been marketed in Belgium. This is the equivalent of 15% of all of the company’s PET bottles
Integration in the PMD market
The plant-based material chosen for the PlantBottle® is sugar cane. The latter is first converted into bio ethanol, which serves as the raw material for plant-based plastic. This plastic is identical to standard PET. To the naked eye, it is impossible to distinguish a PlantBottle® from a PET bottle. ‘A major benefit of the PlantBottle® is that it integrates seamlessly into the PMD collection and recycling circuit,’ observes Langerock. ‘The PlantBottle® packaging material can thus be recycled and reused. This feature fits perfectly into our vision of packaging materials that are recyclable and re-usable, and not merely waste.’
880 tons of CO2 saved
The use of renewable materials enables Coca-Cola to use fewer fossil fuels and thus to reduce CO2 emissions generated by the production of its bottles. As a result, the company emitted 880 tons of CO2 less in 2011 during the manufacturing of bottles destined for Belgium and Luxembourg. On a worldwide scale, the PlantBottle® has already enabled the Group to save about 60,000 barrels of petroleum. The company intends to replace all of its PET bottles with PlantBottles® by 2020. 100% recyclable bottles.
Good to remember
- The PlantBottle® contains 22,5 % sugar cane-based materials.
- In addition, the bottle contains 25 % recycled PET and is 100% recyclable
It fully fits existing PMD collection and recycling circuit
How Coca-Cola manufactures and markets the PlantBottle®
Step 1: select the renewable material
Step 2: adapt the logistics chains
The PlantBottle® has required the company to implement a second logistical circuit. The supply, forming, and production of the PlantBottle® are indeed different than those of other bottles. After harvesting, the sugar cane is processed into bio ethanol in Brazil. The pre-forming of the bottles is then carried out in France. Finally, the bottles for the Belgium and Luxembourg markets are blown in the company’s manufacturing site in Antwerp.
Step 3: communicate clearly to consumers
By 2020, Coca-Cola's goal is to use the PlantBottle® for all the beverages that the company markets in PET bottles
Jeroen Langerock, Corporate Identity, Public Affairs & Communications Director Belux, Coca-Cola
Coca- Cola and the environment
- Each Coca-Cola package complies with its 4R strategy : Reduce, Recycle, Re-use, and Renew.
- The interactive www.traceyourcoke.be Website informs citizens of the environmental efforts deployed by Coca-Cola. It also encourages them to adopt responsible environmental behaviour.
- The company has introduced energy management systems for its cooling equipment. This measure enables a 35% energy saving per installation. The speed of Coca-Cola Belgium’s trucks is limited to 80 km/h thereby reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15%.
- The company adopts programmes for responsible water management and rinse water re-use (to cool machines, for instance). In addition, it protects source water capture areas in the region of Chaudfontaine