Coca-Cola invests in PET technology

The company has extended a loan to Ioniqa Technologies for its PET technology.

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, has announced a new agreement extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, to facilitate the development of Ioniqa’s proprietary technology to produce high-grade, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from hard-to-recycle PET scrap. The agreement is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in bottles used by Coca-Cola, the company said recently in a press release.

Coca-Cola says this investment supports the company’s global vision to work toward a “World Without Waste,” which includes a goal to create packaging made of at least 50 percent recycled material by 2030. The new technology supports the circular economy for plastics by allowing packages, such as colored PET bottles, that may have been excluded from certain recycling streams to be recycled into food-grade quality packaging.

The agreement is intended to accelerate scale-up of Ioniqa’s recycling technology for PET. Ioniqa has developed a proprietary recycling technology that is able to convert hard-to-recycle PET-containing waste, like colored bottles, into purified polymer building blocks that can be later re-formed into high-quality PET. Coca-Cola says the technology has been validated at the demonstration scale with value chain partners, and an industrial plant is under construction in the Netherlands for commissioning in 2019.

“Our investment in new and pioneering recycling technologies is an opportunity for significant movement toward closing the loop and creating a circular economy for PET,” says Robert Long, the chief innovation officer for Coca-Cola. “We plan to continue investment in developing the right partnerships and initiatives – like with Ioniqa – to support our vision of a World Without Waste.”

“Partnering with The Coca-Cola Co. is a further validation of our journey to launch this unique process for transforming hard-to-recycle PET waste into high-quality, food-grade material,” says Tonnis Hooghoudt, the CEO of Ioniqa. “The Ioniqa process allows for significant recovery and reuse of plastic materials that might otherwise not be recycled, while delivering quality food grade PET. The launch of our plant next year will be a step change in the transformation of hard-to-recycle PET plastic into a more widely usable recycled material, supporting the vision of Coca-Cola.”

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