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12/14/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Coca-Cola Invests in PET Recycling Initiatives

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Coca-Cola announced two investments to speed the development and deployment of breakthrough enhanced recycling technologies that will convert recycled plastic into food-grade PET for use in the company’s beverage bottles.

Coca-Cola is extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies to support the development of its technology for PET upcycling, which uses the process of depolymerization to recycle plastics of different colors, qualities and conditions into purified building blocks which can then be made into clear, high-quality PET. Ioniqa is building its first PET plastic upcycling factory in the Netherlands.

In addition, the Coca-Cola system’s procurement collaboration has established a framework with Loop Industries for authorized bottlers to purchase 100% recycled Loop PET. Coca-Cola European Partners is the first bottler to enter into a multi-year supply agreement with Loop for use in its packaging across Western Europe by 2020. 

These agreements support The Coca-Cola Co.’s World Without Waste vision, which focuses on the entire packaging lifecycle – from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re recycled and repurposed. The holistic, three-pillar plan (Design, Collect and Partner) includes ambitious goals to create packaging made of at least 50 percent recycled material by 2030; to help to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030; and to partner with industry, governments and  local communities to tackle the global issue of plastic waste. The Ioniqa and Loop agreements support the Design pillar.

“These two agreements represent exciting opportunities for a real step change in our move towards a circular economy by bringing low-quality PET waste back to virgin-quality, food-grade PET,” said Robert Long, chief innovation officer, Coca-Cola. “We are committed to ongoing investment in developing the right partnerships and initiatives to support our goal of a World without Waste.”

Long adds, “We have clear targets in place to support this goal. To achieve these will require far-reaching collaborations, partnerships, as well as innovation and investments, both to support a better collection and recycling infrastructure globally and to help develop new sustainable packaging solutions for the future.”

Coca-Cola also has taken several steps recently in support of the Partner pillar of its World Without Waste plan. The company recently announced an investment in Circulate Capital, a venture loan fund established to address ocean plastics in South Asia and Southeast Asia,  including the $15 million contribution from The Coca-Cola Company.  Circulate Capital aims to incubate and finance companies and infrastructure that prevent ocean plastic.