Danone and Nestlé Waters, the world’s two largest bottled water companies, have pledged to support Origin Materials, a startup based in Sacramento, California, to form the ‘NaturALL Bottle Alliance’.
The partners aim to launch a PET plastic bottle made from bio-based material at commercial scale, totally from sustainable and renewable resources. The project uses biomass feedstocks, such post-consumer cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption. The technology represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the NaturALL team has vowed to make the products available to the entire food and beverage industry.
Frederic Jouin, Head of Research for Plastic Materials at Danone, said: “Our goal is to establish a circular economy for packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics.
“We believe it’s possible to replace traditional fossil materials with bio-based packaging materials. By teaming up and bringing together our complementary expertise and resources, the Alliance can move faster in developing 100 per cent renewable and recyclable PET plastic at commercial scale.”
Origin Materials has already produced samples of 80 per cent bio-based PET at its pilot plant in Sacramento. Construction of a ‘pioneer plant’ will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of over 60 per cent Bio-based PET to start in 2018. The initial volume goal for this first step is to bring 5,000 metric tons of Bio-based PET to the market.
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The NaturALL Bottle Alliance aims to develop the process for producing at least 75 per cent Bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95 per cent in 2022. The partners will continue to conduct research to increase the level of Bio-based content, with the objective of reaching 100 per cent.
Klaus Hartwig, Head of Research for Nestlé Waters, said: “It’s incredible to think that, in the near future, the industry will be able to use a renewably sourced packaging material, which does not compete with food production and contributes to a better planet.
“It therefore made perfect sense for us to join forces through this Alliance to develop this innovative technology in a large scale and in the shortest time period possible. This is an exciting journey and we are proud to be part of it.”