Posted By Jeff Moad, October 12, 2011 at 11:13 AM, in Category: Sustainability
In its latest sustainability report card, CPG giant Proctor & Gamble this week said it intends to expand the use of sustainable plant-based polyethylene plastic bottles for some its product in North America beginning this fall. The move represents the latest and one of the biggest endorsements of the more eco-friendly material which has the potential of replacing petroleum-based PET plastic bottles and packaging.
P&G is moving to plant-based polyethylene manufactured by a Brazilian partner using sustainably-grown sugar cane. The cane is crushed, releasing juice which is fermented and turned into ethanol. The ethanol is then converted into ethylene and combined to make polyethylene. P&G's supplier burns cane byproduct to power the production process.
P&G has been testing the new material in shampoo bottles sold in Europe. Now it is expanding its use in North America.
P&G says that, compared to petroleum-based PET, the plant-based material reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 170% and consumes 70% less fossil fuel.
P&G isn't the only large manufacturer moving toward the new material. Pepsi in March said it was beginning to use PET bottles made from agricultural waste. And, just last month, AT&T said it was beginning to do the same.
Is your company looking at plant-based polyethylene plastic material for packaging. What are the pros and cons of using these materials vs. more traditional materials?
Written by Jeff Moad
Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit