Two of the world’s largest bottled water companies, Danone and Nestlé Waters, have joined forces with Californian start-up, Origin Materials, to accelerate the commercialisation of bio-based bottles.
The NaturALL Bottle Alliance aims to develop and launch a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle made entirely from sustainable and renewable resources. Research and development will focus initially on cardboard, sawdust and wood chips but other biomass materials, such as rice hulls, straw and agricultural residue could be explored.
Frederic Jouin, head of research and development for plastic materials at Danone said: “Our goal is to establish a circular economy for packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics. We believe it’s possible to replace traditional fossil materials with bio-based packaging materials. By teaming up and bringing together our complementary expertise and resources, the alliance can move faster in developing 100% renewable and recyclable PET plastic at commercial scale”.
Danone and Nestlé Waters are providing expertise, people and financial support, to help Origin Materials make the technology available to the food and beverage industry by 2020.
Construction of a ‘pioneer plant’ will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of 60% plus bio-based PET to start in 2018, with the aim of producing at least 75% bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95% in 2022. The partners will continue to conduct research to increase the level of bio-based content, with the objective of reaching 100%.
John Bissell, chief executive officer of Origin Materials said: “Current technology on the market makes it possible to have 30% bio-PET. Our breakthrough technology aims to reach 100% bio-based bottles at commercial scale. With the help of our alliance partners, Origin Materials will be able to scale up a technology which has already been proven at the pilot level”.