Danone and Nestlé Waters have announced a tie-up with Origin Materials, a California-based startup, to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. The three partners aim to develop and launch – at commercial scale – a PET plastic bottle made from 100% sustainable and renewable resources.
The project uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, thus avoiding resources or land needed for food production. The PET bottle will light in weight, transparent, recyclable and protective of the product as today’s PET.
The R&D will focus initially on cardboard, sawdust and wood chips but other biomass materials, such as rice hulls, straw and agricultural residue could be explored. Origin Materials noted: “Current technology on the market makes it possible to have 30% bio-PET. With the help of our Alliance partners, Origin Materials will be able to scale up a technology which has already been proven at the pilot level.”
The company has already produced samples of 80% bio-based PET in its pilot plant in Sacramento. Construction of a “pioneer plant” will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of 60+% bio-based PET to start in 2018.
Danone and Nestlé Waters are providing expertise and teams, as well as financial support, to help Origin Materials make this technology available to the entire food and beverage industry in record time. The Alliance aims to develop the process for producing at least 75% bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95% in 2022.
The technology represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the Alliance aims to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry.