Coke sets plan for plastic bottles from plants

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 12:23 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co announced a plan on Thursday that brings it closer to rolling out soft drink bottles made entirely from plant-based plastic.

The move is the latest shift in the race between Coke and its archrival PepsiCo Inc to use greener packaging, a challenge for carbonated beverages that put a lot of pressure on the walls of the bottles.

The world's largest maker of non-alcoholic drinks said it signed agreements with three biotechnology companies -- Gevo Inc, Virent and Avantium -- to create plant-based plastic on a global scale so Coke can use it in bottles for drinks from its trademark cola to Dasani water.

The bottles should roll out in the next few years, a Coke executive said.

In 2009, Coke introduced a plastic bottle that was up to 30 percent plant-based and has since distributed more than 10 billion of them in 20 countries.

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The latest step allows the remaining 70 percent of the material to be derived from plants.

Coke's goal is to satisfy all of its non-recycled plastic needs with plant-based plastic by 2020.

Over the summer, PepsiCo introduced bottles for its 7UP brand in Canada made from 100 percent plant-based material.

(Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)