bio-based plastic

Bioplastics: Pepsi opts for 100 % biosourced plastic

The research consortium Alliance NaturALL Bottle welcomes a newcomer: the American giant PepsiCo Inc. (Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana, Lipton, Ice Tea, ...) Objective: to advance the creation of bio-sourced 100% packaging to reduce the carbon footprint. Will this new alliance make it possible to eradicate the 8 million tons of plastic that end up in the oceans every year? Waste that takes up to 500 years to degrade...
L’Alliance NaturALL Bottle is a research consortium created in 2017 by Danone, Nestlé Water and the California biotech company Origin Materials to accelerate the development of innovative packaging solutions made from sustainable and renewable 100 % resources, such as used cardboard or sawdust, so as not to divert resources or land from food, human or animal production. Their objective is to offer PET made from 75% of sustainable and renewable resources by 2020. Whereas the most innovative bottles on the market are currently only bio-sourced at 30%.
"By bringing together key industry players and pooling our complementary skills and resources, we can make PET 100% plastic renewable and recyclable on a commercial scale, comments Frédéric Jouin, R&D Director for Plastic Materials at Danone.
The technology studied by the Alliance represents a scientific breakthrough in this sector, and the Alliance wants to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry: to create containers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint in order to produce bio-based PET bottles at 75% by 2020, and then rapidly to at least 95%. PET is now one of the alternatives to petrochemical plastics, and plastic bottles (PET) made from cellulosic fibres such as used cardboard and wood chips are fully recyclable. PET (polyethylene terephtalate), which appeared in the 1990s, has over the years become the reference plastic, widely used in particular for food packaging, but especially for bottles.
The mineral industries praise its recycling properties: collected and recycled plastic bottles can be used again to make other bottles. This was not the case a few years ago when, for example, they were processed into polar fibre for clothing.
PET has also made it possible to lighten water bottles. First when it replaced the PVC used before it and even since then with constant research. As a result, fewer plastic resins are used, even though, of the 20 million tonnes produced each year worldwide, less than 1% does not come from petrochemicals.
For Massimo Casella, Head of Research and Development at Nestlé Waters, the arrival of Pepsico "is further proof of the importance of the breakthrough technology developed through this partnership. »

Biosourced PET on an industrial scale

After producing samples of 80% of bio-sourced PET on an experimental basis in 2017, the Alliance has made further progress towards its goal of bringing this revolutionary technology to commercial scale. In particular, the Alliance has selected a site in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada (with the assistance of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada) and has begun construction of its demonstration plant.
The main processing equipment has been manufactured and modules are under construction for this plant, which is expected to have a capacity of 18,000 tonnes of biomass and be fully operational by 2020. As a result of this progress, the Alliance plans to increase the production of bio-sourced PET to 95 % and to launch it on a commercial scale shortly thereafter. Alliance members intend to continue their joint R&D efforts to increase the level of bio-sourced content, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100 %. ( Source :

Frédéric Jouin, Danone's R&D manager for plastic materials, hopes that the PET market in general will be able to use this technology and commit to the construction of large-capacity plants. The Alliance partners are committed to using the bio-based PET that will be produced. This is not exclusive, since the aim is also to supply other manufacturers.

Contaminated water in plastic bottles

Sales of bottled water in France represent 175 bottles of water every second, i.e. 5.5 billion bottles of water per year, of which 4.5 billion are still water. The French drink 145 litres of bottled water per year. Worldwide, according to the website, in 2005, 240,000 tonnes of plastic waste were generated for 6.2 billion litres of bottled water consumed.
And out of 300,000 tonnes of plastic bottles, only 150,000 tonnes are recycled, whereas, more widely, 230,000 tonnes of plastic packaging are recycled out of the one million tonnes put on the market. (source: reco-france).
The plastic used to make the plastic water bottle, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a derivative of crude oil, requires several million litres of oil per year. In fact, it takes nearly 2 kg of crude oil to make 1 kg of PET.
According to a study published in March 2018plastic particles were found in 93% of bottled water samples from several major brands. such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life or San Pellegrino. These include polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). On average, researchers found 10.4 particles in each litre of water with a size of about 0.10 millimetres.
"It would come from the bottling process, its cork, the industrial bottling process", according to Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia who has tested water from more than 250 bottles in nine countries around the world. 
Jacqueline Savitz, head of North America for the NGO Oceana, which fights against ocean pollution, said the study was one more reason to limit the production of plastic water bottles. It is more urgent than ever today to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past. »

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