New plastic bottle claims to cut carbon footprint

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 May, 2013, 5:05am

Coca-Cola Company is introducing a new plastic bottle for its mineral waters which it says could produce a lower carbon footprint than existing bottles.

The new bottles are made using sugarcane grown in Brazilian plantations and the material replaces one of the two key components of plastics, which are derived from crude oil.

The bottle, already introduced in 24 regions around the world, will be used to package Bonaqua water in Hong Kong.

Coca-Cola said the new bottles would result in a 10 per cent reduction in their carbon footprint and it hoped to replace all oil-based plastic bottles by 2020.

Au-Yeung Wing, technical director of innovation and commercialisation, said the new bottle was more expensive to produce than the old one, because of today's petroleum prices. But the company would not be passing this cost to the consumer.

Au-Yeung said the difference between the old and new bottles was one of the components.

The existing bottle is made of plastic pellets of which monoethylene glycol (MEG) accounts for 30 per cent, with 70 per cent being petroleum terephthalic acid (PTA). Both components are extracted from crude oil.

The new technology, known as PlantBottle, can replace petroleum-based MEG with sugarcane-based MEG.

Au-Yeung said the next step was to find a long term replacement for the PTA. The company said the sugarcane plantations would not affect any of the Amazon's virgin rainforest.

The new bottle can be recycled along with other plastics.

Bonaqua bottles were earlier named by green groups as the second most frequently found plastic waste on beaches. Most common were Vita water bottles.

Cheung Chi-fai


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