Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced an investment into cutting-edge carbon conversion research, with the potential to create more sustainable packaging materials. Set to be carried out by researchers at Swansea University, United Kingdom, the project will explore a new way of manufacturing ethylene – one of the key components in plastic, such as the HDPE used to make plastic bottle caps.
The research aims to develop technology capable of using CO₂ captured from the atmosphere as an alternative to fossil fuels used during the ethylene production process, offering a potentially more sustainable way to create plastic packaging.
The project is the latest to be funded through CCEP’s innovation investment engine, CCEP Ventures (CCEPV), and follows a series of investments designed to drive innovation and sustainability progress in line with CCEP’s net zero 2040 ambition.
The three-year project will initially focus on development of an efficient and productive CO₂ to ethylene conversion process, before evaluating scale-up options.
As part of its sustainability action plan This Is Forward, CCEP is committed to reducing the impact of its packaging and seeking to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic. This investment follows previous partnerships to develop and scale cutting-edge climate technology, including a recent partnership with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to develop scalable methods of converting captured CO₂ into sugar, and an investment into CuRe, a technology that offers a new lease of life for hard-to-recycle plastic polyester waste.
These investments are designed to make essential raw and packaging materials more sustainable in the long-term, accelerating the potential to reduce some of the largest CO₂ contributors in supply chains, while saving material, transportation and logistics costs.
The announcement follows the news that CCEP, The Coca-Cola Company and seven other bottling partners from around the world have launched a separate $137.7 million venture capital fund focusing on sustainability investments. The fund will complement CCEP Ventures, which focuses on early stage businesses, by investing in companies at the point of commercialisation.