Breakthrough technology can transform low-quality plastic into high-quality food-grade packaging.
Coca-Cola is unveiling the first ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that, one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks. This sample is the first ever plastic bottle made using marine litter that has been successfully recycled and reused in food and drink packaging.
About 300 sample bottles have been produced using 25% recycled marine plastic, retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches. A small step for now, but the technology behind it has big potential.
Recycling the unrecyclable
The marine plastic bottle has been developed to show the transformational potential of revolutionary ‘enhanced recycling’ technologies, which can recycle previously used plastics of any quality back to the high-quality needed for food or drinks packaging.
Enhanced recycling technologies use innovative processes that break down the components of plastic and strip out impurities in lower-grade recyclables so they can be rebuilt as good as new. This means that lower-grade plastics that were often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life. It also means more materials are available to make recycled content, reducing the amount of virgin PET needed from fossil fuels, and resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
The sample bottle is the result of a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The
In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables. From 2020,
Working toward zero waste
Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director,
Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa Technologies, the Dutch company that developed the proprietary enhanced recycling technology, says: “The impact of enhanced recycling will be felt on a global scale: by working with
 Final recycled marine plastic content in the bottle will vary post production, between 20-25%.
Innovation through partnership: how we made it happen
Coca-Cola’s breakthrough sample bottle has been designed and developed by bringing together several key partnerships:
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