Food-safe PET made from captured carbon emissions launches

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Could PET made from captured carbon emissions be the future of plastic packaging?
Could PET made from captured carbon emissions be the future of plastic packaging?

Related tags Plastic Packaging

A new food-safe polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin made from captured carbon emissions has been debuted by LanzaTech Global.

LanzaTech Global converts waste carbon into materials such as sustainable fuels, fabrics and packaging. Plastipak Packaging has partnered with the group to produce PPKNatura, the ‘world’s first’ PET resin made from captured carbon emissions.

Suitable for food applications, the resin retains the technical properties of virgin fossil PET while carrying a lower carbon footprint. As such, it can be used for traditional food- and pharmaceutical-grade packaging and other sensitive applications such as hot-fill, refillable, and applications where low crystallinity is required.

According to LanzaTech and Plastipak, PPKNatura resin reduces greenhouse gas emissions and its production does not require land or food resources. The material can also be fully recycled at the end of its life, maintaining a circular material cycle.

Environmental impact

Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive Officer of LanzaTech, said: “LanzaTech’s commercial technology is designed to enable our partners in diverse industries to reduce their carbon footprint and overall environmental impact,”​ said

“Our partnership with Plastipak is critical to demonstrating what is possible today. Today we are producing food- and pharmaceutical-grade packaging and are well on our way to creating a more sustainable future for all.” 

LanzaTech’s CCT technology works like a brewery in which proprietary bacteria consume pollution and convert it into CarbonSmart chemicals. Those chemicals are then turned into products ranging from clothing and laundry detergent to sustainable aviation fuel.

Swiss grocer Migros and its subsidiary Mibelle Group are already using this PET resin in their in-brand packaging for smoothie bottles.

Early progress

Pedro Martins, executive managing director Europe of Plastipak, added: “We are delighted to partner with LanzaTech to achieve early progress in our ambition to produce PET with lower environmental impacts.

“The use of CarbonSmart MEG is a first and important milestone in our journey toward this goal, and combined with use of renewable electricity in the production process, has contributed to significant progress in indicators such as carbon reduction and use of fossil resources.

“PPKNatura resin is one element of Plastipak’s ESG program, which among other initiatives, targets the extension of our product circularity with the intent of supporting customers in reducing their Scope 3 emissions.”

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has strengthened its commitment to eliminating virgin plastics in its bottles with an investment in scaling up technology to convert hard to recycle polyester into high quality recycled PET (rPET).

Related topics Environment Packaging & Labelling

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