Coca-Cola Co. announced a deal Thursday with three biotechnology companies that it says will speed its development of plastic for its bottles that will be made entirely from plants.
Beverage makers are trying to use new types of bottles to cut their environmental impact and lower their costs. Traditional packages are made of plastic that takes fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources to make.
Coca-Cola launched plant-bottle packaging in 2009, which was the first-ever recyclable plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants. Rival PepsiCo Inc. says it has found a way to create bottles made entirely of plant materials, which it will take test in the market next year.
Coca-Cola said it reached multi-million dollar partnership agreements with biotechnology companies Virent Inc., Gevo Inc. and Avantium.
"While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent, Gevo and Avantium are companies that possess technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years," said Rick Frazier, vice president of commercial product supply for the company.
Shares of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola rose 59 cents to $66.85 by mid-afternoon.