In an article published on June 18, 2015 by the news provider Food Dive, journalist Carolyn Heneghan reports on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promoting the use of plant-based plastic, rubber, and fiber in manufacturing products such as bottles and packaging. The USDA wants to support manufacturers of plant-based products with low interest loans for building new manufacturing plants. “This is another area where food companies can focus on improving their sustainability practices”, Heneghan writes. The Coca-Cola Company is a major participant in the movement toward using plant-based products. Since 2009 Coca-Cola has been using fully recyclable plastic bottles that contain 30% plant-based materials. In June 2015 Coca-Cola presented its new 100% plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle (FPF reported).
Coca-Cola currently uses Brazilian sugarcane and waste from sugarcane manufacturing as plant source for their bottles, but is looking into alternative plant materials. Two German companies have recently developed a novel packaging concept based on up-cycled wheat straw and made entirely from agricultural waste (FPF reported).
Overall, plant-based plastics currently make up less than 1% of all plastic materials.
Carolyn Heneghan (June 18, 2015). “USDA promotes plant-based packaging.” Food Dive