WEB EXCLUSIVE: In a somewhat unusual move, two major consumer brands will cosponsor next month’s BioPlastek 2011 Forum on Bioplastics in N.Y.C. The Coca-Cola Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. will co-host the welcoming reception on June 27 and luncheon on June 28, where attendees will have to opportunity to actually use the new bio-based PET bottles from the two companies. Coca-Cola is using the occasion of this meeting to formally announce the national rollout of its Dasani bottled water in the PlantBottle, which has 30% renewable content from sugarcane ethanol. In the keynote presentation, Dr. Michael Okorafor, Heinz’s vp of packaging R&D and innovation, will explain why the company’s flagship ketchup brand is being switched to the PlantBottle and what other potential packaging applications he envisions for plant-based PET.
The cosponsorship of the conference (organized by Schotland Business Research, Inc.) underscores the importance both firms attach to their landmark strategic partnership and why there is a need for collaboration between giants to raise awareness of the eco-benefits of launching iconic brands in renewably based plastics. Industry observers say it can be seen as a form of “pull-through” marketing of bioplastics, aiming to raise consumer awareness and help create economies of scale that will enable further market penetration.
The sauce is red, but the new bottle is green—i.e., based partly on renewable plant-based feed...