In the 1954 film “Sabrina,” Linus Larrabee proclaimed that the business of the future was plastic and tried to marry his brother to the daughter of a sugar cane plantation owner to gain control of the raw material. This movie gets one thing right – plastic literally takes over the world. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine life without cheap, versatile materials. But Humphrey Bogart’s character was wrong for Cane. The plastics that dominate manufacturing are made from fossil fuels, and bioplastics have never existed. so far.
After decades of using plastic to make almost everything, the material’s shortcomings are too serious to ignore. Not only is plastic made from petroleum, it comes with climate impacts, and is difficult to recycle and doesn’t biodegrade. therefore, 8 million tons Large amounts of plastic enter the ocean every year.it harm wild animals and decomposed into Microplastics enter the food chain.Now even some of the biggest plastic polluters Efforts are being made to develop bioplastic packaging alternatives to eventually replace their PET bottles, and steps are being taken to ensure more plastic containers are recycled at the same time.
The chemical composition of plastics is very complex, vocabularyBut what environmentalists are excited about bioplastics are biodegradable plastics made from biological (rather than petrochemical) sources.There are some very creative ways to make bioplastics – including shrimp shell – But most of the time vegetable starch is the raw material.Scientists are working on Develop more efficient plant strains Build plastics, but businesses don’t wait for results. Many large beverage makers are advancing their own plans for bio-based plastics.
Suntory is the latest company that produces Japanese whisky Yamazaki and American Jim Beam, as well as Sauza tequila, Orangina soda, and many teas and bottled waters announcing progress in plastic packaging. Their prototype PET bottle is made entirely from plant material. Using technology developed by American company Anellotech, they convert wood chips and molasses into two plastics that are mixed into bottles. This is a bio-based process used to make PET. Therefore, the resulting bottle is not biodegradable but fully recyclable. Suntory plans to use the new bottles for the Orangina and Suntory Tennensui mineral water brands.Their goal is to eliminate all petroleum-based virgin plastic from their global operations for use 100% sustainable PET bottles by 2030.
Coca-Cola is the world’s largest Plastic polluters, but they are working to replace petroleum-based plastics. Coca-Cola launched 30% plant-based PET PlantBottles in 2015.Now, Coca-Cola, like Suntory, has produced its own first 100% bio-based PET bottle by 2021. Recyclable plant-based bottles are ready for mass production, and Coca-Cola aims to phase out 3 million tons of virgin oil-based plastics by 2025. It has pledged to collect as much plastic as it produces by 2030; make its packaging 100% recyclable; and make 50% of its packaging from recycled materials.
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French biotech company Carbios is working towards a circular plastic economy in recycling. In 2021, they declared success Enzyme Recovery Process. It decomposes PET very efficiently and can be recycled infinitely without adding virgin material. Backed by PepsiCo and Nestlé (the world’s second and fourth largest plastic polluters), as well as Suntory, Carbios is building a demonstration plant to demonstrate that the process can be mass-produced. By 2025, they expect to recycle 40,000 tons of plastic into new containers each year.
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Keurig Dr. Pepper did not develop new technology. Instead, they are taking advantage of the recycling options now available. Some of their products are already bottled with recycled plastic in certain markets. In 2021, they switch to 100% recycled plastic bottles For their Core Hydration brand and a 16 oz Snapple. Converting these two brands to recycled bottles will reduce approximately 47.5 million pounds of virgin plastic annually. The company used 2% post-consumer plastic in 2020, but has a long way to go to reach its goal of using 25% recycled plastic by 2025.
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After several years bad news recycling, it’s exciting to see big companies create a market for post-consumer plastics.Bio-based plastics reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (up to 70%) and other environmental impacts.However, they are not a panacea. Not all bio-based plastics are biodegradable or compostable. They generate more pollutants than oil-based plastics and negatively impact land use. Bio-based bottles could be a step in the right direction. But the best plastic bottle is still the one you don’t use.