Food and Beverage Business
General News

Suntory Introduces Bio-based Raw Materials in Fossil-Free PET Bottle Production

Suntory Introduces Bio-based Raw Materials in Fossil-Free PET Bottle Production business, PET packaging, Processing and Packaging, Suntory, Sustainability Food and Beverage Business

In the food and beverage industry, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is the preferred material for plastic bottles due to its clarity, strength, and lightweight nature. However, the production of new PET relies heavily on fossil hydrocarbons. Thankfully, advancements in hydrocarbon production now allow for the creation of PET from bio-based materials.

Neste, a renewable fuels and feedstock supplier based in Finland, has partnered with Japanese company ENEOS, Mitsubishi Corporation, and beverage giant Suntory to produce PET bottles from bio-based raw materials for the first time. ENEOS will utilize Neste’s renewable feedstock, Neste RE, to produce bio-PX (Bio-Paraxylene), subsequently converting it to PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid), and manufacturing PET resin at their Mizushima Refinery in Okayama, Japan. This PET resin will be used by Suntory to create their PET bottles. Mitsubishi Corporation will coordinate the collaboration between all value chain partners. The bio-based feedstock allocation to PET bottles will follow a mass balancing approach and will be implemented in Suntory’s products by 2024.

But how is a renewable feedstock for PET made? Neste utilizes various bio-based materials such as waste and residue oils and fats, transforming them into renewable fuels and raw materials for polymers. This includes used cooking oil, vegetable oil processing waste and residues, as well as other materials like palm fatty acid distillate and animal and fish wastes from food processing. Neste’s technology enables the conversion of renewable raw materials into hydrocarbons compatible with existing plastic value chains and infrastructure, making it a ‘drop in’ feedstock that replaces fossil feedstock without any infrastructure modifications. While Neste RE has been used in other value chains, this collaboration with Suntory represents the first time renewable Neste RE is being utilized for PET production. The project is believed to be one of the earliest instances of fully renewable PET.

The adoption of renewable feedstock for PET bottles is not limited to Suntory’s collaboration. Companies like McDonald’s in the US, Tchibo in Germany, and Japanese supermarkets have already implemented renewable polymers made from Neste RE for various applications. The advantage for food and beverage companies is that these polymers possess the same properties, quality, and safety as conventional materials, with a significantly lower carbon footprint. According to Neste’s life cycle assessment (LCA) for Neste RE, the feedstock reduces the carbon footprint by over 85% compared to fossil feedstock.

Related posts

Unpredictable climate affects potato production

FAB Team

KFC’s new approach to burgers and fries: reducing fat, sugar, and salt

FAB Team

Creating Casein Protein from Potatoes

FAB Team