Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, and Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., have announced a collaboration to incorporate fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle packaging.
The PlantBottle Technology, first introduced in 2009, is a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottle made partially from plant fibers. Although some biopolymer packaging has been criticized for diluting the recycling stream or not being recyclable, Coca-Cola says of the PlantBottle, “The plastic in PlantBottle packaging can be recycled again and again in today’s recycling streams, thereby reclaiming all of the energy and materials that went into the creation of the bottle.”
The fabric will be used in interior fabric surfaces covering seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints, door panel inserts and headliners in Ford Fusion’s Energi plug-in hybrid vehicle. The two companies say the research vehicle marks the first time PlantBottle Technology has been applied beyond packaging and affirms a joint commitment by the two companies to develop products produced from renewable materials.
“By using PlantBottle Technology in a plug-in hybrid, Ford and Coca-Cola are showing the broad potential to leverage renewable materials that help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels, reducing the overall environmental impact of future vehicles,” says John Viera, global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters at Ford.
According to a press release from Ford, the idea for the partnership was launched in 2012 when Ford and Coca-Cola research teams came together to explore innovation opportunities in more sustainable products. Both companies use PET plastic in a variety of products including plastic bottles, fabrics and carpets.
“This collaboration with Ford demonstrates that PlantBottle Technology can be applied anywhere PET plastic is traditionally used but with a lighter footprint on the planet,” says Scott Vitters, general manager of the PlantBottle packaging platform for Coca-Cola. “We are pleased to share this technology with Ford, and look forward to continuing to expand the application of PlantBottle Technology.”