Beverage giant Coca-Cola has teamed up with major companies Ford Motor, HJ Heinz, NIKE, and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to boost the development of 100% plant-based PET materials in their products.

The companies have formed the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) in order to evolve a material that is partially made from plants to one made entirely from plants. The companies said they hope to enact positive change across multiple industries by leveraging research and development.

The technology builds upon Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle packaging technology, which has already demonstrated a lower environmental impact when compared to traditional PET plastic bottles. The material is currently licensed by Heinz for select ketchup bottles in the US and Canada.

Coca-Cola had earlier collaborated with Virent, Gevo and Avantium to take its PlantBottle from 30% renewably sourced to 100%, in a bid to produce bottles made from 100% plant-based materials in all of its packaging by 2020.

P&G global business development associate director Ed Sawicki said the project provides an opportunity to help the company deliver on its sustainable goals, including the reduction of the amount of petroleum-based materials.

"Though our Connect+Develop programme of external innovation, we can work with others to help to advance the pace of the technical learning and commercial availability of 100% plant-based PET faster than any one party can do alone," Sawicki added.

According to Coca-Cola, the collaborative aims to drive the development of common methodologies and standards for the use of plant-based plastic including life-cycle analysis and universal terminology, which in turn will be promoted by the brands with and used by both PTC and non-PTC members globally.

Image: The PTC is set to boost research into Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle to produce bottles made from 100% plant-based materials. Photo: The Coca-Cola Company.