ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola Co. is partnering with three firms to hasten development of a completely plant-based bottle.
The beverage giant said it has signed multimillion-dollar agreements with Virent, Gevo and Avantium, which specialize in plant-based alternatives to traditional packaging made from petroleum and other nonrenewable resources.
Coke's current "plant bottle" is made up of 30% plant-based materials, with the remainder containing plastic resins. The packaging is used in North America for the Dasani brand and in other products in 20 countries around the world. Coca-Cola has also licensed H.J. Heinz to use the first-generation plant bottle technology for its own packaging.
Coke's Odwalla juices come in 100% plant-based plastic, but the materials used in that packaging work best in refrigerated products, not in the company's carbonated or water beverages.