Coca-Cola Enterprises is looking to trial a bottle that the Coke bottler claims could reduce the carbon footprint of a traditional PET bottle by up to 25%.

Packaging accounts for over half of the carbon footprint of a 330ml can of Coke and the company is looking at ways of reducing the impact of its cans and bottles on the environment. One 330ml can of Coke creates 170g of carbon dioxide, while a 500ml bottle creates 240g.

Joe Franses, head of corporate responsibility and sustainability for CCE's European operations, said the company is aiming to produce a bottle made from 100% renewable and recyclable materials - a bottle that the group claims is an "eco-evolution" in packaging.

One concept that CCE plans to roll out next year has been dubbed the "Plantbottle" and would be made from a mixture of petroleum-based and plant-based materials.

Up to 30% of the Plantbottle would be made from plant-based materials, which could slash the carbon footprint of CCE's bottles, Franses told an industry conference in London yesterday afternoon (22 October).

"[It] could reduce carbon emissions by up to a quarter versus a traditional PET bottle," Franses said at the IGD's Packaging & Product Resource Efficiency conference. "It is something that we will test next year in North America."

The Plantbottle is being developed through what CCE calls an "innovative" process that turns sugar cane and molasses - a by-product of the sugar used by the bottler anyway - into a "key component" of the bottle's material.

In Europe, Franses said CCE wants to develop bottles containing 25% recycled PET by the end of 2012 but he said it was currently difficult to source the material - and the recycled PET that is sourced is imperfect.

"Not enough PET gets collected and recycled in Europe. We need consumers to recycle so it's not hard to source. We can't get enough rPET to satisfy our volume requirements - it simply doesn't exist," Franses said. "Contamination is a major issue. Not all rPET processes can prevent contamination."