Coca-Cola’s first ocean plastic bottle

The Coca-Cola Company, which makes the world’s most popular soft drink Coca-Cola, has released its first bottles made partly from recycled ocean plastic waste.

It is a limited release, only 300 bottles were made, and all have a green strip, instead of the usual red strip, on the bottle. Only 25% of the bottle is made from recycled ocean plastic waste.

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The green strip is meant to evoke an image of the Mediterranean Sea after discarded plastic was collected during a cleanup of 84 beaches in Portugal and Spain. That waste was combined with similar waste captured by trawlers in the Mediterranean Sea.

Coca-Cola created the sustainable bottle in partnership with Dutch startup business Ioniqa Technologies and its PET plastic supplier Indorama Ventures.

Ioniqa is able to break down the components of lower grade plastic and strip out impurities and rebuild the plastic as new. This means that lower grade plastics often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life.

“The impact of enhanced recycling will be felt on a global scale: by working with Coca-Cola and Indorama to produce this bottle, we aim to show what this technology can deliver. Our new plant is now operational and we are bringing this technology to scale. In doing so, we aim to eliminate the concept of single-use plastic and plastic waste altogether,” said Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa Technologies.

The marine plastic bottle has been developed as proof of a concept for what the technology may achieve in time. In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables.

The Coca-Cola Company’s goal is have all of its bottles made with at least 50% sustainable plastic by 2030. The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste policy includes collecting a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030.

“Enhanced recycling technologies are enormously exciting, not just for us but for industry and society at large. They accelerate the prospect of a closed loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill,” said Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola in Western Europe.

“This bottle is testament to what can be achieved, through partnership and investment in revolutionary new technologies. In bringing together partners from across our supply chain, from a community cleanup initiative in Spain and Portugal to an investment in technological innovation in the Netherlands, we have been able, for the first time, to bring damaged marine plastic back to food-grade material with which we can make new bottles.”

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