For four years and counting, Coca-Cola was reported as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in the world. Now, the company is unveiling its very first plant-based plastic bottle.
Coca-Cola’s solution to massive plastic pollution
The Coca-Cola Company has come forward to address its contribution to plastic pollution by releasing plant-based plastic bottles. According to the company, these plastic bottles contain plant-based paraxylene (bPX), a material acquired from corn sugar.
The company has worked with a plant-based company called Virent to collect plant-based terephthalic acid (bPTA) from the acquired bPX. This technology is ready to grow commercially. However, Coca-Cola mentioned that although the bottle is plant-based, the cap and labels are still made up of plastic.
Ten years ago, Coca-Cola introduced PlantBottle, the world’s first recyclable plastic made from 30% plant substances. However, the company has only produced 900 of these bottles in 2009. Thus, finding an alternative for mass production and commercial availability.
According to Nancy Quan, Coca-Cola’s Chief Technical and Innovation officer, the company has been needlessly working on 100% plant-based bottles and their partners, specifically to reduce its carbon footprint to the lowest. She added that it was good that technologies like these are available nowadays.
In addition, she revealed that the company’s goal is to provide sustainable solutions for the world. She emphasized that the push towards renewable and recycled materials should not be treated as competition. Instead, it should rather encourage other companies to join.
The Coca-Cola Company’s history with plastic pollution
The company has always been criticized for having massive plastic use. It was reported that over 1.9 billion drinks were consumed by 200 countries every day for the past previous year.
The company’s plastic use was tracked by Break Free From Plastic, an anti-plastic movement that houses over 11,000 organizations and supporters. Across six continents in the world and 440 brand audits, it was revealed that the company used about 330,000 plastic bottles.
This set the Coca-Cola Companies as the world’s biggest polluter for four consecutive years despite the company’s promise to collect one plastic bottle waste every time a new one is sold.
The report stated that plastics have been one of the major reasons for climate change for the past years. It also added how plastic production might double within the next 20 years if left unattended.
Another thing included in the report is that 69% of the world’s largest economies are not countries but companies. Additionally, the report emphasized corporations’ important role in leading the way to a plastic-free future since they have the power, means, and resources to make a difference in the world.