Founded in 2012, the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) is an industry working group focused on accelerating the development and use of 100% plant-based PET materials and fiber in products. Plant-based PET has a lower environmental impact compared to conventional PET bottles that use fossil fuels as their feedstock.
The PTC initiative stems from Coca-Cola’s initial success in developing the PlantBottle ™ packaging technology. Coca-Cola’s work in this area aligns to the company’s vision to advance the use of 100% plant-based plastic in products. To broaden the scope and impact, Coca-Cola collaborated with four other big brands (Ford Motor Company, Heinz Company, Nike Inc. and Proctor & Gamble) to commercialize and scale the technology and its use. The company’s leadership in this area contributes to their sustainable packaging commitment: “We will set the standard for sustainable packaging, achieve zero waste in our operations and recycle more packaging than we use”.
Also referred to as PET, polyethylene terephthalate, is a durable, lightweight plastic that is used by all member companies in a variety of products and materials including plastic bottles, apparel, footwear, automotive fabric and carpet. The collaboration supports new technologies in an effort to evolve today’s materials that are partially made from plants to solutions made entirely from plants.
By leveraging the research and development efforts of the founding companies, PTC is taking the lead to affect positive change across multiple industries. Through the initiative, members aim to drive the development of common methodologies and standards for use of plant-based plastic, including life cycle analysis and universal terminology.
With their market position as leading brand companies, these members are making a commitment to champion research, expand knowledge and accelerate technology development to enable commercially viable, sustainably sourced and 100% plant-based PET plastic. PTC member companies are working together to meet each member’s future business goals and lead the charge toward 100% plant-based materials. It is expected that by 2018 the members will have a commercially scale solution.
Advancing to the 100-percent level is beyond just any one company. And the PTC collaboration with non-competitive, world class companies is the new normal.
(Michael O. Okoroafor, Vice President of Global Packaging Innovation and Execution, H.J. Heinz Co.)
Coca-Cola continues to find ways to work across sectors to encourage systemic industrial change. In 2013, the company held a Sustainability Innovation Summit that brought together an international group of influential thinkers, suppliers and customers to explore opportunities for collaboration, innovation and technology. The 250 delegates in attendance heard from speakers that are pioneers in this space and that represented a range of organizations including The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, McKinsey & Co. and Goldman Sachs. Delegates also participated in breakout sessions exploring various challenges (i.e., packaging of the future, driving recycling, zero-carbon manufacturing and sustainability across the value chain).