Coca-Cola has introduced a new recyclable PET plastic bottle completely made from plant materials at the World Expo in Milan, Italy.

The company has employed PlantBottle technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET plastic bottles.

The new PET bottle is the newest version of the company’s PlantBottle packaging, which is made using sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process.

The new version of PlantBottle packaging is made entirely from plant-based materials, while the current version is made from up to 30% plant-based materials.

PlantBottle packaging can be used for packaging water, sparkling, juice and tea beverage brands.

Coca-Cola global research and development officer Nancy Quan said: "Today is a pioneering milestone within our company’s packaging portfolio.

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"Today is a pioneering milestone within our company’s packaging portfolio."

"Our vision was to maximise game-changing technology, using responsibly sourced plant-based materials to create the globe’s first fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made entirely from renewable materials."

Coca-Cola has used Virent’s BioFormPX paraxylene to make the new recyclable bottles. BioFormPX paraxylene was produced at Virent’s demonstration plant in Madison, Wisconsin, US, as part of an agreement signed between Coca-Cola and Virent in 2011.

Last year, Coca-Cola made an additional investment to expand Virent’s demonstration plant capability in order to help scale-up the separation and purification steps of the production process and produce larger quantities of BioFormPX.

Since 2009, the company has distributed more than 35 billion bottles of the current version of PlantBottle packaging in 40 countries across the globe.

Image: Coca-Cola has used Virent’s BioFormPX paraxylene in the making of the new recyclable bottles. Photo: courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company.