Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
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Coca-Cola, Liquid Light, Monadnock Advancing Sustainable Packaging Technologies

The Coca-Cola Company has launched a development agreement with Liquid Light, a technology company focused on converting carbon dioxide into major industrial chemicals, to accelerate production of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) – a component used to make Coca-Cola’s plant-based PET PlantBottleTM.

The core technology behind Liquid Light is its low-energy catalytic electrochemistry, which converts CO2 to multi-carbon chemicals. The process extends to multiple chemicals with large existing markets, including ethylene glycol, propylene, isopropanol and acetic acid. The company says it also enables more efficient use of plant material to make MEG. For example, a bio-ethanol production facility could make bio-MEG from the CO2 byproduct of converting plant material into ethanol.

According to Liquid Light, its technology has the potential to reduce both the environmental footprint and the cost of producing MEG. “Energy efficiency comes from our stable and efficient catalyst design and novel chemical processes that maximize product per unit of energy,” reads the company’s website.

Details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but it may signal Coca-Cola’s further investment in lower-impact packaging. The beverage giant acknowledges the challenge of selecting low-impact materials for its recyclable bottles; so far, the company has only approved sugarcane from Brazil and sugarcane processing waste from India as suitable materials.

“Just because a material is made form plants, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better for the environment,” says a video describing the PlantBottle. “Working with leading academic, government and NGO partners, we are evaluating the wide range of agricultural sources to see if they can meet our criteria of being able to deliver improved environmental and social performance without impacting food security.”

In other packaging news, Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc.****, a manufacturer of specialty papers for the technical, packaging and printing markets, today announced the launch of a new sample book showcasing its EnviPortfolio® of Fiber-Based Solutions. The materials in the EnviPortfolio replace plastics across a broad range of applications and end-uses in retail, hospitality and other consumer-facing markets.

All of the paper stocks in the Envi line are FSC-certified, manufactured carbon-neutral (VERs) with Green-e Certified 100 percent renewable electricity (RECs).

“Sustainability is ingrained in our everyday business practices, and we are proud to offer alternatives to plastic,” said Richard Verney, Chairman and CEO of Monadnock. “Consumers are seeking brands that are socially responsible so we are offering this new sample book to make it easier for designers and brand owners to source more sustainable solutions.”

The company’s EnviPortfolio of products features fiber-based solutions that replace plastic for uses such as gift cards, beverage labels, tags and environmental graphics. Its technical papers are used in medical and pharmaceutical packaging, construction, interior design, manufacturing and other specialty applications and markets.

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