Suntory and Anellotech have decided to build a new facility in Texas, US, for the development of 100% bio-based PET bottles.

The construction work is due to start in late January and the plant is expected to start operations later this year.

Suntory plans to introduce the PET bottle products including Suntory Beverage & Food’s (mineral water) Suntory Tennensui brand.

The company is engaged in the development of PET bottles with reduced environmental impact, including the implementation of the lightest PET bottles in Japan.

Suntory started a joint development in 2012 with Anellotech, which intends to produce bio-aromatics including bio-paraxylene that plays an important role in manufacturing bio-based PET bottle.

The partnership has to date provided over $15m in funding.

Suntory packaging material development department head Munehiko Takada said: "By focusing on the development of substitute materials to replace petroleum in making everyday consumer products, we are expanding our commitment to reduce the environmental burden of beverage packaging, including reduction of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are pleased with the progress Anellotech and its industry-leading partners have made, which gives us confidence in their ability to develop and commercialize a sustainable and cost-effective process for producing bio-based aromatics."

Anellotech president and CEO David Sudolsky said: "With Suntory’s focus on bio-paraxylene, Anellotech can now offer a unique opportunity to new partners interested in bio-benzene-chain derivatives. This includes nylon, polycarbonate, linear alkyl benzene for laundry detergent, and styrene for styrene butadiene rubber."

Image: One section of the testing plant. Photo: courtesy of Suntory.