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The Coca-Cola Co has signed "multi-million dollar" tie-up deals with biotechnology companies in order to create a bottle that is made entirely from plants, for use across its entire drinks portfolio.

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Coca-Cola's current PlantBottle, launched in 2009, is made only partially from plant-based materials, but the soft drinks giant intends to go further with a new version of the same product. Today (15 December), the group said that it has signed "multi-million dollar" partnership deals with three companies; Virent, Gevo and Avantium. 

Coca-Cola's VP of commercial product supply, Rick Frazier, said: "This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly-sourced, plant-based materials.” Since 2009, the firm has distributed 10m of its current PlantBottles, which are recyclable and contain up to 30% plant-based materials.

Explaining why Coca-Cola has chosen the three companies, Frazier said: “While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent, Gevo and Avantium are companies that possess technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years.” The tie-up deals follow a two-year investigation into possible techonologies for a 100% plant-based bottle that can be used across all drinks.

Separately, Coca-Cola already produces a recyclable, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic that is made 100% from plant material and is available across its Odwalla juice brand. While HDPE is an ideal package for some refrigerated juice products, it is not suitable for shelf-stable carbonated and still beverages, the firm said.


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