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PepsiCo joins NaturALL Bottle Alliance

The alliance, a research consortium developed by Danone, Nestle Waters, and Origin Materials, is making progress on developing and introducing a 100% bio-based PET beverage bottle.

PepsiCo is now a partner in the NaturALL Bottle Alliance
PepsiCo is now a partner in the NaturALL Bottle Alliance

The NaturALL Bottle Alliance is a research consortium formed in 2017 by Danone, Nestlé Waters, and bio-based materials development company Origin Materials  to accelerate the development of innovative packaging solutions made with 100% sustainable and renewable resources. On Sept. 11, NaturALL announced that PepsiCo, Inc. has joined the alliance to advance the shared goal of creating beverage containers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

The alliance also provided a progress report in its goal of developing and launching a PET bottle made from bio-based material. Launched a year ago in March, the alliance uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption. The alliance says the technology it is exploring represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, which it aims to make available to the entire food and beverage industry.

“Creating more sustainable packaging requires innovation through the value chain. Producing PET from sustainable bio-based sources that do not diminish food resources and are fully recyclable is a great example of such innovation and an important contributor to PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging program,” says Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. “Through our Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo is committed to reducing the carbon impact of packaging in line with our goal to reduce absolute emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2030; bio-based PET has the potential to reduce significantly the carbon footprint of our PET bottles, a huge contribution to our efforts in this area. We are excited to add PepsiCo’s R&D capabilities to the alliance and look forward to seeing what the combined efforts of the alliance members can achieve.”

“PepsiCo is a welcome addition to the alliance because we share the goal of making renewable plastic a reality,” says Origin Materials CEO John Bissell. “Through the combined efforts of its members, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance is setting the bar for sustainability for an entire industry.”

Commentes Frédéric Jouin, Head of Research and Development for plastic materials at Danone, “We are very enthusiastic about PepsiCo joining the alliance. By bringing together major players and pooling our complementary expertise and resources, we can make 100-percent renewable and recyclable PET plastic at commercial scale a reality. We also expect to see additional opportunities for this breakthrough technology.”

Massimo Casella, Nestlé Waters’ Head of Research and Development, adds, “We are pleased to welcome PepsiCo into the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Their addition is further proof of the importance of this disruptive technology. The alliance has taken an important step in working together to tackle the challenges around plastic packaging. Developing 100-percent bio-based PET is one way Nestlé is working to use more materials from sustainably managed renewable resources.”

Progress report

After producing samples of 80% bio-based PET at pilot scale in 2017, the alliance has made further progress toward its goal of bringing its technology to full commercial scale. It has selected a site in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, with the assistance of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, and has begun construction of its demonstration-scale plant. The major process equipment has been fabricated, and modules are under construction for this plant, which is expected to have a capacity of 18,000 tons of biomass and be fully operational by 2020. Following that milestone, the alliance plans to increase production to 95% bio-based PET and achieve full commercial-scale soon after. Alliance members plan to continue their joint R&D efforts to increase the level of bio-based content, with the ultimate objective of reaching 100%.

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