In Tokyo, Suntory Group has unveiled a 100% biobased polyethylene terephthalate prototype developed in collaboration with biobased chemicals company Anellotech.
The material was used to create bottles for the company’s popular Orangina beverage in Europe as well as Suntory Tennensui, its mineral water sold in Japan.
The prototypes are a major milestone in Suntory’s decade-long collaboration with Anellotech. The New York-based startup is developing a biobased route to paraxylene, a precursor to terephthalic acid, which makes up 70% of PET. Anellotech produces paraxylene, as well as benzene and toluene, in a biocatalytic process using wood chips as feedstock. Established technology already exists to produce biobased monoethylene glycol, the other 30% of PET.
“We’re delighted with this achievement, as it brings us one step closer to delivering this sustainable PET bottle to the hands of our consumers,” said Tsunehiko Yokoi, Executive Officer of Suntory MONOZUKURI Expert Ltd. Suntory aims to use only 100% sustainable PET bottles globally by 2030 and eliminate all petroleum-based virgin plastic from its global PET supply.