Through a quintet of coordinated sustainability initiatives, the Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta) is aggressively aligning the Dasani water brand with the company’s global “World Without Waste” goal to make packaging with 50% recycled material by 2030.
It’s the largest sustainability initiative in the history of the Dasani brand, according to Lauren King, brand director, Dasani. “It’s rooted in providing sustainable options for our consumers, while doubling down on our commitment to minimize our impact on the environment. Over the last decade we’ve been on a journey to make Dasani more sustainable through new package design and innovation, and we are now accelerating these efforts in support our company’s ambitious goals to significantly reduce packaging waste around the world by 2030. While there is no single solution to the problem of plastic waste, these additional package and package-less options mark an important next step in our effort to provide even more sustainable solutions at scale.”
The day of the announcement in mid-August PlasticsToday interviewed Sneha Shah, group director, packaging innovation, Coca-Cola North America, who reveals the reasoning and details for the program, which comprises five parallel initiatives involving two plastics-centered developments that include innovation in plastic bottles made from renewable resources and an emphasis on bottle weight reductions.
The HybridBottle, the next generation PlantBottle
Unveiled was the new HybridBottle, which features a mix of up to 50% plant-based renewable (PlantBottle) and recycled PET (rPET); specifically, the blend will be about 30% recycled (rPET) content and 20% renewable (PlantBottle) content with the 50% virgin PET. It is expected to launch nationally in mid-2020 as a 20-oz bottle.
Coca-Cola’s current sustainably enhanced benchmark standard, the PlantBottle, is a blend of 30% renewable materials including sugarcane and corn and 70% virgin PET.
Shah identified three key considerations for this development that will remove an incrementally larger amount of virgin material from the brand’s portfolio:
High-quality material. Requirements include that it being sourced from food-grade material with proper coloring/clarity.
Recycled content. Coca-Cola is adding this year six new suppliers of rPET who use mechanical processing specifically for the HybridBottle. This will ensure a steady supply of consistent quality of food-grade material; Shah declined to identify them by name.
Packaging performance with scalability that extends through the entire supply chain through to the consumer experience.
“This is going to accelerate our use of recyclable and renewable resources and is an industry-leading solution for the market in North America,” Shah states.
In related news from early 2019, the company made the PlantBottle technology available to all interested companies, including competitors. Currently, only a limited number of suppliers produce the type of biomaterial used to make PlantBottle resin, which adds complexity and cost to the production process. By encouraging more use of bioPET by companies both inside and outside the beverage industry, Coca-Cola expects to increase demand and drive down pricing.
Next: Dasani plans to lose weight