This comes after the firm’s technology partner, Anellotech, stated that it had successfully produced a collection of renewable chemicals identical to fossil-based counterparts.
The use of Bio-Thermal Catalytic (Bio-TCat) technology converts biomass feed stocks such as wood, sawdust and sugar cane bagasse and other non-food materials into BTX aromatics — benzene, toluene and xylenes — which can be purified.
Anellotech has partnered with Suntory since 2012 to produce these bio-aromatics, including bio-paraxylene, the key component needed to make a bio-based PET bottle.
The two companies constructed the development and testing plant, which is currently being used, in Texas, USA, in early 2016.
In addition, Suntory added that its 2R+B (Reduce/Recycle + Bio) approach also sought to reduce the use of resin in PET bottles while also increasing the use of recycled materials.
Reduction does not pertain only to the number of plastic bottles produced but also a ‘weight reduction’ programme that seeks to cut the amount of material used in bottle labels and caps.
In the “Bio” category, Suntory has already produced the lightest domestically-manufactured PET bottle, of which 30% comprises plant-based materials. It is used for Suntory Tennensui 550ml drinks.
Other recent initiatives
Not long ago, Suntory also announced the development of its ‘FtoP Direct Recycle Technology’ for use in soft drink PET bottle preform production, which can help to reduce CO2 emissions by about 25%.
This was part of a joint effort with Kyoei, SIPA SpA, and EREMA Group GmbH.
Last year, Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd was also the first beverage maker in Japan to obtain the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) (TM)-COC Certification for corrugated paper and paperboard, and adopted boxes made of these certified materials for mineral water of the Suntory Tennensui brand.
Suntory Beer Ltd also adopted FSC-certified paper-made packaging for its products beginning toward the end of the year.
Under the Suntory Tennensui range, the firm had launched Suntory Tennensui Premium Morning Tea (Milk) which is colourless like water, near the end of last year.