Ad:AJT book order
Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2024Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

Bottled water has retained its title as America’s favourite packaged drink, outselling carbonated soft drinks (by volume) for the eighth year in a row, new data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) shows.

Bottled water’s total volume sold in 2023 was 15.94 billion gallons, compared to carbonated soft drinks, which sold 11.84 billion gallons. Bottled water retail sales surpassed USD 48 billion, up 6.5 % from 2022.

“Multiple characteristics account for bottled water’s resonance with U.S. consumers, including its associations with healthfulness, convenience, safety, and value. An array of packaging types, ranging from single-serve to bulk, facilitates a wide range of uses,” says John G. Rodwan, Jr., BMC’s editorial director.

“Consumers’ thirst for beverages that offer benefits beyond refreshment alone also contributed to the fundamental hydrating beverage’s rise in the beverage standings. Bottled water’s zero-calorie status and its lack of artificial ingredients appeal to many consumers. Even where tap water may be safe and readily available, people may prefer bottled water, which they often believe tastes better. The availability of packaged water wherever beverages are sold also differentiates bottled water from tap,” says Rodwan.

Bottled water products compete with other packaged drinks, but not tap water. Most bottled water drinkers consume both tap water and bottled water, packaged conveniently in 3 and 5-gallon for the home and office, or at retail 1 and 2.5 gallon or individual size commonly sold by the case. However, when people are away from home and bottled water isn’t available, 70 % say they will choose another packaged drink, according to a survey conducted in 2022 on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) by The Harris Poll. Survey respondent choices were as follows: soda (22 %), sparkling or sweetened or flavored bottled water (10 %), sports drink (8 %), tea (7 %), coffee (6 %), juice/fruit drinks (5 %), functional water (5 %), bottled tea (4 %), energy drink (3 %). Among the remaining 30 %, a third (10 %) would drink from a water dispenser, either using a refillable cup (5 %) or disposable cup (5 %). Ten percent would drink filtered tap water, 6 % would drink unfiltered tap water, while 4 % would drink from a public water fountain (down from 7 % in 2019).

For more than a decade, consumers have been increasingly choosing bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged drinks. In fact, since 2012, 34 % of bottled water’s growth has come from people switching from less-healthy drinks to bottled water.

Bottled water’s volume surpassed soft drinks for the first time in 2016 and has done so every year since. Americans consumed, on average, 46.4 gallons of bottled water in 2023, compared to 34.4 gallons of soda. The fact is that consumers demand bottled water. Research shows that nine out of 10 Americans (91 %) say they expect bottled water to be available wherever other drinks are sold.

“Consumer preference for healthy hydration and bottled water is really good news for public health,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. “This is particularly important as the nation continues to experience high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”

“Bottled water also has the added benefit of packaging that is 100 % recyclable, unlike laminated paper cartons, which technically can be recycled but most often they are not accepted by the majority of municipal recycling systems in the United States. Not only are bottled water containers 100 % recyclable (including the cap) but they also use much less plastic than other packaged beverages.”

Even with continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest impact on the environment—thanks to the fact that it has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. On average, only 1.4 liters of water (including the 1 liter of water consumed) and 0.21 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water.

Most bottled water is packaged in 100 % recyclable PET #1 plastic and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognised by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. Consumers can be confident about recycling plastic bottled water containers because they are among the few consumer packaging types that are universally recyclable across the United States. Not all cities and towns recycle glass bottles and laminated paper cartons, which are most commonly comprised of multiple layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum or wax.

PET plastic bottled water containers are the most recycled containers in U.S. curbside recycling programs, accounting for 52 %. PET plastic bottled water containers are a valuable resource because they can be recycled and used over and over again.

Recycling facilities know that there is a huge industry demand for post-consumer PET and HDPE plastics. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, which helps to reduce their environmental impact further because they aren’t using virgin plastic.

“Helping people make healthier choices is at the core of the bottled water business,” says Culora. “Consumers have made it clear that there’s a demand for safe, healthy, and convenient bottled water, as they are responsible for propelling bottled water to the title of America’s most popular packaged beverage, by volume.”

Taking a major step to support a circular economy, Coca-Cola® launched in rPET in pack sizes of 250 ml and 750 ml across several markets in India.

After being the first company in India to launch a one-litre bottle made from 100 % recycled PET (rPET) for its packaged drinking water brand Kinley, Coca-Cola India is taking another meaningful step towards creating a circular economy and has announced the launch of Coca-Cola® in rPET in pack sizes of 250 ml and 750 ml. These rPET bottles are being manufactured by Coca-Cola bottling partners – Moon Beverages Ltd., and SLMG Beverages Ltd.

The rPET bottles expansion showcases Coca-Cola India’s transformative journey towards building a sustainable and greener future for all. The bottles made from 100 % food-grade rPET (excluding caps and labels) have an on-pack call to action “Recycle Me Again” message and will also drive consumer awareness with “100 % recycled PET bottle” displayed on the pack.

These rPET bottles are crafted from food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The plastic is recycled as per the technologies approved by the US FDA and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for food-grade recycled material and repurposed into new PET bottles, reducing the need for virgin plastic for producing PET Bottles.

The Coca–Cola Company now offers 100 % rPET bottles in over 40 markets, bringing it closer to its World Without Waste goal of making bottles with 50 % recycled content by 2030. Announced in 2018, the sustainable packaging platform also includes a goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one the company sells globally by 2030, and to make 100 % of its packaging recyclable by 2025.

The Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved the use of recycled PET in food packaging. Similarly, the Government of India’s, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and the Bureau of Indian Standards has enabled befitting regulations and standards to facilitate the use of recycled plastics in food and beverage packaging.

Coca-Cola is making it convenient for consumers to return their empty PET bottles by recycling them at conveniently placed drop-off points or Reverse Vending Machines (RVM’s). Earlier this year, Coca-Cola India launched a ‘Return and Recycle’ initiative with Zepto that focuses on gathering PET bottles directly from consumers. This also helps in establishing an organised process of collecting PET bottles with 100 % traceability. Specifically for India, Coca-Cola introduced ASSP (Affordable Small Sparkling Pack) for the 250 ml PET bottle. ASSP, a proprietary Coca-Cola innovative technology is used to reduce plastic usage in the production of PET bottles for sparkling products by up to 40 percent.

Neste has entered a cooperation with Suntory, ENEOS and Mitsubishi Corporation to enable the production of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) resin made with renewable Neste RE on a commercial scale. Neste RE is Neste’s feedstock for polymers production, made 100 % from bio-based raw materials such as waste and residues, e.g. used cooking oil, to replace fossil feedstock in the value chain. Japanese beverage company Suntory will utilise the renewable PET resin to produce bottles for its products in 2024. 

A new partner for Neste in Japan, ENEOS will use bio-intermediates based on Neste RE to produce bio-PX (Bio-Paraxylene) at its Mizushima Refinery in Okayama, Japan. The bio-PX will then be converted to PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) and subsequently to PET resin for Suntory to use to manufacture their PET bottles. Mitsubishi Corporation will be coordinating the collaboration between the value chain partners.

“In order to tackle the imminent climate crisis and its consequences, companies are required to take responsibility now. Through partnering along the value chain, Neste can contribute to reducing the polymers and chemicals industry’s dependence on fossil resources as well as to manufacturing of products that have a lower carbon footprint,” says Lilyana Budyanto, Head of Sustainable Partnerships APAC at Neste Renewable Polymers and Chemicals business unit.

A mass balancing approach will be applied to allocate the bio-based materials to the PET bottles.

Plastipak, a global leader in the design, manufacture and recycling of plastic containers has announced the formal opening of a major recycling investment at its manufacturing site in Toledo, Spain by Don Emiliano García-Page, President of the Castilla-La Mancha Region. The new recycling facility converts PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.

The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tonnes of food-grade recycled pellet per year and will eliminate recycled resin transport-related emissions since it is co-located at Plastipak’s current preform manufacturing site. The recycling plant is Plastipak’s fifth recycling facility, with other recycling plants located in USA, France, Luxembourg and United Kingdom. In Europe, Plastipak is the largest producer of food-grade rPET, with well over 150,000 tonnes of rPET capacity per annum.

Pedro Martins, Plastipak’s Executive Managing Director Europe, said “The use of rPET is a key tool in reducing our customer’s Scope 3 related emissions and forms an important part of their ESG-packaging related commitments. As well as supporting our customers to reduce their financial obligations under the planned Spanish plastics tax, the plant will also contribute to the meeting the minimum recycled content levels mandated by the Single Use Plastics Directive.”

To support on-site energy generation, the state-of-the-art facility incorporates advanced energy-saving technologies and equipment that includes the rooftop installation of over 1800 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The PV panels are expected to generate more than 1339 MWh of electricity per year that will be consumed entirely on-site, saving more than 443 tonnes of CO2 per year through the avoidance of consumption of electricity from the national grid. This is in addition to the CO2 avoided by using the 20,000 tonnes of recycled resin instead of virgin resin.

Plastipak, a global leader in the design, manufacture and recycling of plastic containers has completed a major investment to significantly expand its PET recycling capacity at its manufacturing site in Bascharage, Luxembourg.

The original PET recycling facility in Luxembourg opened in 2008 and this new expansion increases annual production capacity by 136 %. The installation and commissioning of the expansion took 12 months and has officially opened.

The recycling facility is co-located with Plastipak’s flagship preform and container manufacturing facility and converts washed rPET flakes originating from post-consumer bottles into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets.

The rPET produced at the site is converted into new preforms and containers produced at the Bascharage facility, which principally serves the German and Benelux food and beverage markets. The expansion complements Plastipak’s existing recycling facilities in France, UK and USA, and follows the recent announcement of a new recycling facility at its plant in Toledo, Spain.

“This latest investment to increase our capacity in rPET production actively demonstrates Plastipak’s long-term commitment to bottle-to-bottle recycling and our leadership in the PET circular economy” explained Pedro Martins, Executive Managing Director of Plastipak’s European division. “Plastipak is the leading producer of food-grade rPET in Europe, with the majority of the post-consumer recycled material we use in Europe produced in-house”.

“Plastipak began producing post-consumer recycled resins for packaging customers in 1989, and has had many expansions in North America and Europe since then. We are excited to continue supporting our global packaging customers in achieving their sustainability goals” said Dave Stajninger, Plastipak’s Global recycling Business Manager.

Plastipak is a major convertor of recycled PET, which represents 27 % of the total resin consumed in Plastipak’s European sites in 2020. At the site of this latest rPET expansion, Bascharage, the proportion of recycled resin consumed in 2020 was 45.3 %.

This October, Fruit Shoot singles across its core range are making the move to 100 % rPET (recycled plastic) and clear bottles*.

The update is another step on Britvic’s journey to reaching its ambition that all bottles produced and sold in Great Britain will be made from 100 % rPET by the end of 2022. The product will also undergo a recipe refresh and packaging redesign for the first time in three years. Alongside its new clear bottle, Fruit Shoot will now be preservative free following a reformulation.

Britvic: Fruit Shoot bottles move to 100 % recycled clear plastic alongside new recipe and design
Fruit Shoot Apple and Blackcurrant (Photo: Britvic)

As the number one kids soft drinks brand[1], Fruit Shoot is supporting operators to meet the ever-changing needs and considerations of consumers. Sustainability is not only a growing concern, but is also now a factor in their decision-making. A study revealed that 95 % of parents hold brands responsible for addressing their sustainability concerns[2], with a further 71 % claiming they’ve become more concerned about sustainability since becoming a parent[3]. However, it isn’t just parents that are increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, but also their children – as 95 % of kids say the environment needs protecting[4].

Adam Russell, director of foodservice & licensed at Britvic, comments: “One in four kids juice and juice drink occasions took place outside the home in 2019[5], and as restrictions have eased and families are back on the move, this is only set to increase further with kids drinking while out and about. As the number one kids soft drinks brand[6], Fruit Shoot already has strong brand awareness, but this latest update to the use of 100 % rPET bottles will also demonstrate its packaging sustainability credentials to parents. This is particularly important, as research we recently commissioned revealed that the majority of Brits (80 %) think it is important that manufactures and brands use recycled plastic[7].”

As part of wider consumer research, Britvic found the transition to a clear bottle had several impacts on parents’ perceptions – eight out of 10 parents said they would trust Fruit Shoot more and almost three quarters said it showed Fruit Shoot was more natural than they thought[8]. Made with real fruit, no added sugar, artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives, Fruit Shoot offers parents peace of mind when it comes to the health of their children.

The packaging update will include hand drawn elements added to each bottle, to bring it to life and add an element of fun. As a result, they will be eye-catching in outlets, driving appeal and purchase – particularly for those who are conscious about the contents of the products they purchase.

To drive awareness of the switch to 100 % rPET bottles, Fruit Shoot will be visible across outdoor and digital platforms early next year, demonstrating the new clear bottles with the messaging, ‘New CLEAR bottle, just as fruity!’.

*Across Fruit Shoot single and multipack bottles, excluding caps and labels.
[1] NielsenIQ, Total Coverage, Value and Volume MAT to 24.07.21 & CGA Foodservice and Licensed Value and Volume MAT to 30.06.21 – Total Fruit Shoot, Kids Soft Drinks Category (Britvic defined)
[2] Kantar Mumsnet Sustainability Study, May 2020
[3] Kantar Mumsnet Sustainability Study, May 2020
[4] https://www.moms.com/gen-alpha-cares-more-study/ Hotwire 1000 kids aged 5-7.  95% children say the environment needs to be protected.
[5] Britvic’s Kidscope Research, 2019
[6] NielsenIQ, Total Coverage, Value and Volume MAT to 24.07.21 & CGA Foodservice and Licensed Value and Volume MAT to 30.06.21 – Total Fruit Shoot, Kids Soft Drinks Category (Britvic defined)
[7] OnePoll research, 2,000 UK adults, Recycling Lifetime Survey, commissioned by Britvic, August 2021
[8] MMR, Clear Bottle quantitative study, May-June 2020.

Sun-Rype Products, a division of A. Lassonde Inc., a Canadian fruit-based food and beverage manufacturer, announced that they have replaced plastic straws with recyclable, bendable paper straws on all SunRype 200 ml single-serve beverage boxes in Canada. This includes all of SunRype’s 200 ml 100 per cent juice, and 200 ml 60 per cent less sugar juice products.

“We are on track to meet our sustainable development objectives by 2025,” said Claire Bara, President, A. Lassonde. “We plan on incorporating recyclable packaging for all of our products, and the launch of paper straws on our single-serve juice products is another step in the right direction. We know that our customers place a lot of importance on finding products that meet today’s environmental challenges, and these SunRype juice containers with new bendable paper straws are now available at Canadian grocery retailers – just in time for back to school lunch boxes.”

All packaging on SunRype’s 200 ml multi-layered Tetra Pak product containers is recyclable. By choosing this package with SunRype’s new paper straws, made from FSC-certified paper, consumers are making the choice of a more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging option.

“In 2020, Lassonde was the first company in Canada to manufacture and commercialize the 200 ml bendable paper straw under the Kiju organic brand, as well as our water brands Simple Drop and Fruit Drop,” said Bara. “We are pleased to provide our customers with this environmentally responsible paper straw on all 200 ml beverage containers of our iconic brand, SunRype.

The launch of the paper straw follows Lassonde’s recent launch of new bottles containing 25 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET) for all its juice brands available in 300 ml portion-size packages in Canada.

By 2023, SunRype is aiming for a 25 per cent post-consumer recycled content in its PET bottles; using 100 per cent recyclable packaging for all its products; and working with governments, industry and associations to promote the collection of recyclable materials.

Plastipak, a global leader in the design, manufacture and recycling of plastic containers has announced a major investment in recycling at its manufacturing site in Toledo, Spain. The new recycling facility will convert PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.

The new facility will be co-located with the current preform and container manufacturing plant facilitating additional carbon savings through the elimination of resin transport. The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tonnes of food-grade pellet per year and will commence production in the summer of 2022. The project will create approximately 14 new jobs and include additional manufacturing and warehouse space.

Pedro Martins, Plastipak’s Executive Managing Director Europe, explained “The investment in a new recycling facility in Spain will support both Plastipak and our customers in fulfilling our commitments to corporate social responsibility. The project comes in advance of minimum levels of recycled content mandated by the Single Use Plastics Directive, and will support brand owners to reduce their financial obligations under the planned Spanish plastics tax.”

This will be Plastipak’s fifth global location producing recycled PET (rPET) and confirms Plastipak as the largest producer of bottle-grade recycled PET in Europe. With three long-established rPET facilities in Europe (France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom), Plastipak already produces well over 130,000 tonnes of recycled PET in Europe. Plastipak also operates a HDPE and PET recycling plant in the US.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is set to accelerate the decarbonisation of its business by reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its entire value chain – including scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions – by 30 % by 2030 (vs 2019)* and setting a path to become a Net Zero business by 2040, in alignment with a 1.5˚C pathway and the Paris Climate Agreement.

CCEP will reduce GHG emissions across all five areas of its value chain – ingredients, packaging, operations, transportation and refrigeration. Crucially, there is a significant focus on reducing scope 3 emissions via a commitment to support strategic suppliers to set their own science-based carbon reduction targets and use 100 % renewable electricity.

CCEP’s immediate action plan is supported by a three-year €250m investment which will provide targeted financial support to decarbonise its business. This includes sustainable packaging initiatives, such as the progression of its 100 % rPET roadmap and investing in the scaling of depolymerisation technology, which will help accelerate the delivery of its longer-term net-zero objectives.

The ambition is underpinned by the inclusion of a GHG emissions reduction target in CCEP’s long term management incentive plan (LTIP) – 15 % of the LTIP awarded in 2020 will be based on the extent to which CCEP reduces GHG emissions over the next three years.

It builds on work undertaken over the last decade to reduce GHG emissions across CCEP’s entire value chain by 30.5 % (vs 2010) as part of This is Forward, its joint sustainability plan with Coca-Cola in Western Europe. CCEP’s 2030 GHG reduction commitment has been approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being in line with a 1.5˚C reduction pathway as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

As part of its journey to Net Zero, CCEP will invest in projects which remove carbon from the atmosphere or verified carbon offset projects. However it will focus on reducing emissions as far as possible and will only offset where essential and where it can’t reduce emissions any further.

*This includes a commitment to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 47 % and Scope 3 emissions 29 % by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

Britvic announced it has reached agreement with PepsiCo for a new and exclusive 20-year franchise bottling agreement for the production, distribution, marketing and sales of its carbonated soft drink brands – including Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew – in Great Britain. The new agreement extends the relationship, which commenced in 1987, to 31 December 2040 and includes the Rockstar energy brand, for which Britvic will take responsibility from 1 November this year.

Britvic also announced its intent for all plastic bottles in GB to be made from 100 % recycled plastic (rPET) by the end of 2022 – three years earlier than originally planned, and ahead of the previous target of 50 %. This will cover the entire GB portfolio of Britvic-owned and PepsiCo brands, and demonstrates both companies’ commitment to sustainability and to a healthier planet.

Ozarka®, Deer Park® and Zephyrhills® join Poland Spring® in using 100 % rPET bottles in multiple sizes. All Nestlé Waters North America U.S. domestic packaging continues to be 100 % recyclable.

Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) announced that three more of our U.S. domestic still water brands have started to convert their packaging to 100 % recycled plastic. Ozarka® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Deer Park® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water and Zephyrhills® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water packaging, which has long been 100 % recyclable, will now be both 100 % recyclable and made from 100 % recycled plastic. With the expansion of recycled plastic (rPET) to these brands, nearly 60 % of all households in the U.S. will have access to one of Nestlé’s regionally distributed spring water brands in bottles made entirely with recycled plastic.

The packaging conversion for these three brands means that NWNA has now doubled the amount of rPET used since 2019 across its U.S. domestic portfolio to 16.5 %. This step brings the company closer to achieving its goals of using 25 % rPET across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2021 and 50 % rPET by 2025. By accelerating the use of rPET in its bottles, NWNA is leading the shift from virgin plastic to recycled plastic and helping to create an end-market for sustainable rPET. Using recycled plastic can help keep it out of landfills, waterways and oceans, and reduces greenhouse gases by 67 % compared to using new plastic1.

To help consumers identify the new rPET bottles, all three brands will include a new message on the labels of the 20 oz, 700 mL, 1 L and 1.5 L bottles, stating they are both 100 % recyclable and now are also made from 100 % recycled plastic. To provide greater transparency about the source of the water, the labels will also include a QR code that allows people to scan and track the journey of the water they’re drinking, as well as the bottle. Ozarka will be launching a TV, digital and social media campaign this summer to inform Texans of the new rPET bottles. Understanding that bottles need to be recycled in order to create bottles with other bottles, Zephyrhills will be launching limited edition labels that encourage consumers to recycle through a bold message stating, ‘I’m Not Trash! I’m 100 % Recyclable.’ This message will accompany the “100 % recycled” message on the applicable bottle sizes.

NWNA’s ability to expand its use of recycled plastic partially relies on existing bottles being recycled when empty. Unfortunately, right now, less than 30 % of PET bottles are recycled and many recovered beverage containers are being down-cycled and used in non-food contact applications versus being made back into beverage containers. While giving a plastic beverage container another life in products such as carpets and textiles ensures one more use, it does not represent the highest and best use of food-grade recycled material. Recognizing these challenges in obtaining enough rPET to incorporate into more of our product packaging, NWNA will continue to work collectively with industry, NGOs, governments and consumers to address critical issues related to infrastructure, collection, policy, consumer education, and development of end-markets for recycled materials.

To help the underfunded and often outdated recycling infrastructure in the U.S., NWNA made a $6 million investment in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to support projects that help increase recycling capabilities throughout the country. In 2019, Poland Spring collaborated with The Recycling Partnership to launch the first Instagram recycling hotline to help Americans understand what is recyclable in their communities. NWNA was also the first beverage company to add How2Recycle information on the labels of its major U.S. brands, reminding consumers to empty the bottle and replace the cap before recycling.

1Association of Plastic Recyclers (2018)

PepsiCo, Inc. announced that LIFEWTR® will be packaged in 100 % rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), and bubly will no longer be packaged in plastic. The company’s AQUAFINA® water brand will also offer aluminum can packaging in U.S. food service outlets, while the brand tests the move in retail. The changes, which all go into effect next year, are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest ambitious steps in the company’s sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics. They reinforce and advance PepsiCo’s goals to by 2025 make 100 % of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable and use 25 % recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging.

“Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take this challenge personally,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta. “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses, and disposes of plastics. We are doing our part to address the issue head on by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging to make it more sustainable, and we won’t stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused.”

Naked Juice, a category leader in premium fruit and veggie juices and smoothies, has been working since 2009 to ensure its bottles are made of 100 % rPET and can be turned into bottles again and again. By making its bottles with rPET, the brand also uses about 25 % less energy than if it used virgin plastic.

PepsiCo is one of the largest users of food-grade recycled PET in the world, and the company is also working to help reliably increase the supply needed to meet its packaging goals. In tandem with current suppliers and partners like The Recycling Partnership, Loop Industries, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), PepsiCo is aiming to both increase recycling rates and improve the plastic recycling infrastructure.

Learn more about our sustainable packaging vision here.

SABIC introduced its LNP ELCRIN iQ portfolio of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) compounded resins derived from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) to support the circular economy and help reduce plastic waste. By chemically upcycling consumer-discarded PET (primarily single-use water bottles) into higher-value PBT materials with enhanced properties and suitability for more-durable applications, the company is encouraging the use of recycled resins. These products also offer a smaller cradle-to-gate environmental footprint than virgin PBT resin, as measured by Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Better Properties, Longer Life than PET

SABIC’s LNP ELCRIN iQ compounds and blends are based on upcycled iQ PBT resins, a proprietary SABIC technology. This technology overcomes some of the limitations of mechanical recycling by using chemical processes to depolymerize PET bottles and other PET waste into their precursor chemicals, purify them and then use them to create new PBT resin. The technology can deliver performance and processing benefits such as good chemical resistance, colorability, high flow for faster throughput and flame retardance (FR).

LNP ELCRIN iQ resin is a drop-in solution for virgin PBT and other conventional PBT materials, making it easier for manufacturers to make their products more sustainable. By displacing virgin raw material used to manufacture PBT, LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ resin has been shown through peer-reviewed life cycle assessment[1] to reduce the energy and carbon footprint of the material by up to 61 percent and 49 percent, respectively. Further, each kilogram of LNP ELCRIN iQ resin uses up to 67 post-consumer PET water bottles (0.5 liter).

The ELCRIN iQ portfolio offers customers multiple options, including glass- and mineral-reinforced grades and non-halogenated FR and UV-resistant formulations. Some of the LNP ELCRIN iQ grades even have the potential to achieve compliance with U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA) food contact regulations.

Potential applications for these new polymers include durable internal and aesthetic components for consumer electronics, automotive connectors, and housings for medical devices. Such applications can extend the useful life of the original, single-use PET resin, which helps keep the material out of the waste stream for a longer period.

“Consumer-discarded PET bottles lose value and performance properties through conventional mechanical recycling,” said Joshua Chiaw, Global Business Director, LNP, SABIC. “This downcycling process limits the types of applications for which rPET can be used. In contrast, SABIC’s chemical upcycling process helps improve the performance and quality of the final resin product. As a result, these PBT materials are potentially more desirable for durable applications. Overall, LNP ELCRIN iQ materials can help reduce reliance on virgin resin and address industry and consumer demand for greater use of more-sustainable materials.”

“The development of LNP ELCRIN iQ materials is a major step forward for SABIC and illustrates our unyielding commitment to our customers, the global plastics industry, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which we joined as a founding member,” said Frank Kuijpers, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, SABIC. “Our innovative process for chemical upcycling of single-use PET directly supports the AEPW’s goal of developing new technologies that help minimize waste, make recovering and recycling plastics easier, and create value from all post-use plastics.”

SABIC LNP ELCRIN iQ grades are available worldwide.

[1] The original peer-reviewed life cycle assessment study was completed by SABIC in 2011. The results are being reviewed and updated based on current models, with expected completion and peer-review in 2019.