US beverage firm The Coca-Cola Company has extended its support to a European chemical recycling project for polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The company is set to join the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the project, which is known as Demeto, financed by the European Community into the framework of the Horizon 2020.

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PET is used for making bottles, jars, containers and other packaging applications.

“Producing PET from recycled plastic in a sustainable and profitable way is an important step forward.”

Despite its widespread use in the packaging industry, PET has a low recycling rate. Only 20% of it is recycled, and enters back into the value chain.

Even in Europe, a large amount of PET waste, including coloured complex and contaminated materials, ends up being incinerated or disposed into landfill.

To address this problem, Demeto, along with its partners, is focused on introducing a clean, safe and profitable method for the treatment of difficult-to-recycle PET.

Joining the IAB of the project is in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s resolve to support PET recycling.

Comprising of 16 companies involved in the complete PET/polyester value chain, the IAB is a committee of stakeholders external to the project.

They engage with the partners of the consortium to keep track of its public developments and provide feedback to guide its business development activities.

Coca-Cola, which aims to use 50% recycled PET in its plastic packaging by 2030, is focusing on the entire packaging lifecycle – from manufacturing of bottles and cans to their recycling.

Coca-Cola Central and Eastern Europe technical director Maria Luisa Polli said: “Producing PET from recycled plastic in a sustainable and profitable way is an important step forward. That is why we are thrilled to work with Demeto and the broader industry to help make new revolutionary technologies available in support of a circular economy.”

The Demeto project partners are planning to build an industrial plant for chemical recycling of PET.

They will deploy a technology that enables a complete recovery of PET without any degradation of the material.

Besides, the technology will allow the project to return post-consumer PET into its basic components, Ethylene Glycol (EG) and Terephthalic Acid (PTA).

The project expects to offer an alternative source of raw materials to the plastics industry.