PET Project Unites Ford, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble in Effort to Develop Plant-Based Plastic

June 6, 2012
The strategic working group, which also includes H.J. Heinz Co. and Nike Inc., seeks to 'evolve today's material that is partially made from plants to a solution made entirely from plants.'

Five titans of industry have formed a strategic working group that will focus on developing plastics made entirely from plants.

The group -- comprised of Coca-Cola Co. (IW 500/29), Ford Motor Co. (IW 500/6), H.J. Heinz Co. (IW 500/102), Nike Inc. (IW 500/58) and (Procter & Gamble Co. (IW 500/11) -- aims to further the development of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET.

PET is a durable, lightweight plastic used by all five manufacturers in products and materials such as plastic bottles, apparel, footwear and automotive fabric and carpet.

The Plant PET Technology Collaborative will focus on "accelerating the development and use of 100% plant-based PET materials and fiber in their products," the group said in a press release.

"The collaborative builds upon the success of The Coca-Cola Co.'s PlantBottle packaging technology, which is partially made from plants and has demonstrated a lower environmental impact when compared to traditional PET plastic bottles," the group said. "Currently, Heinz licenses the technology from Coca-Cola for select Heinz ketchup bottles in the U.S. and Canada."

By pooling their R&D resources, the group seeks to "evolve today's material that is partially made from plants to a solution made entirely from plants."

The companies also will "aim to drive the development of common methodologies and standards for the use of plant-based plastic, including lifecycle analyses and universal terminology."

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About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

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