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LanzaTech and Plastipak produce world’s first PET resin from waste carbon

LanzaTech and Plastipak produce world’s first PET resin from waste carbon
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a polymer that is molded into plastic bottles and containers for packaging foods and beverages, personal care products, and many other consumer goods (photo courtesy Plastipak).

In the United States (US), carbon capture and transformation (CCT) company LanzaTech Global, Inc., and compatriot Plastipak Packaging, Inc. (Plastipak), a global leader in the design, manufacture, and recycling of plastic containers, have announced that they have successfully produced PPKNatura, the world’s first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin made from captured carbon emissions.

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Plastipak Packaging, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plastipak Holdings, Inc., is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality, rigid plastic containers for the food, beverage, and consumer products industries.

Plastipak is also a leading recycler of rigid plastic packaging, producing food-grade post-consumer recycled resin for inclusion in new packaging, and operates more than 40 sites in the United States, South America, and Europe.

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 the use of renewable electricity in the production process, has contributed to significant progress in indicators such as carbon reduction and the use of fossil resources, said Pedro Martins, Executive Managing Director Europe of Plastipak.

CarbonSmart MEG

PET resin comprises 30 percent monoethylene glycol (MEG) traditionally derived from petroleum, and the resin is suitable for food, personal care, and pharmaceutical packaging, as well as other non-packaging applications.

PPKNatura leverages “CarbonSmart” MEG from LanzaTech’s CCT process. It retains the technical properties of virgin fossil PET while carrying a lower carbon footprint.

LanzaTech’s commercial technology is designed to enable our partners in diverse industries to reduce their carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. 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, said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.

Thus, PPKNatura can be used for traditional food and pharmaceutical-grade packaging and other sensitive applications such as hot-fill, refillable, and applications where a low crystallinity is required.

Non-packaging PET applications can also take advantage of this ground-breaking resin.

PPKNatura resin reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and its production process does not require land or food resources.

In addition, packaging made out of this material can be fully recycled at the end of its life, keeping the carbon in a circular material cycle.

Mibelle Group first out

Leading Swiss retailer Migros and its subsidiary Mibelle Group were the first to use this PET in in-house brand packaging, including in creating PET bottles for smoothies and containers of household cleaners that also contained LanzaTech ethanol as a key ingredient.

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 (SAF).

Using a variety of waste feedstocks, LanzaTech’s technology platform is creating a future where consumers are not dependent on virgin fossil inputs for everything in their daily lives.

The use of fossil fuels must be avoided. Where this is not possible, it makes sense to include greenhouse gases in products so that the gases do not contribute to global warming and climate change, commented Christoph Meili, a specialist in life cycle assessments at WWF Switzerland.

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