Researchers at Swansea University in Wales will explore a new way of manufacturing ethylene, which is a key component in plastic such as the HDPE used to make plastic bottle caps.
This 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.
Craig Twyford, Head of CCEP Ventures, said: “We’re incredibly excited about the potential of this research. We know that making our packaging materials more sustainable is key to decarbonising our business, and technology will play an important role in helping us solve this challenge.
“Through Ventures, we are committed to seeking out and funding solutions that will build a better future for our business, communities and the planet. If scaled, this technology could impact both our fossil fuel use and carbon emissions and help to accelerate a low-carbon future for CCEP.”
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 a highly efficient and productive CO₂ to ethylene conversion process, before evaluating scale-up options.
This investment (value of which is undisclosed) follows previous partnerships to develop and scale climate technology, including a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to develop scalable methods of converting captured CO₂ into sugar, which was announced in 2022.
Meanwhile, a 2020 investment into Dutch company CuRe will support tech that offers a new lease of life for hard-to-recycle plastic polyester waste.
These investments are focused on making raw and packaging materials more sustainable: which should help attack some of the largest CO2 contributors in supply chains while saving materials, 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 $137.7m 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.