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Thanks to a loan from Coca-Cola, Ioniqa can accelerate the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles. Ioniqa is a spin-off of the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Dutch Polymer Institute and is still located at the university campus. The loan is meant to facilitate the development of Ioniqa’s proprietary technology to produce high-grade, recycled PET content from hard-to-recycle PET waste. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Coca-Cola says this investment supports “the company’s global vision to work toward a World Without Waste”, which includes a goal to create packaging made of at least 50% recycled material by 2030. The new technology supports the circular economy for plastics by allowing packages such as coloured PET bottles that may have been excluded from certain recycling streams to be recycled into food-grade quality packaging.

Read more about Ioniqa’s journey

The agreement is intended to accelerate the scaling up of Ioniqa’s recycling technology for PET. Ioniqa has developed a proprietary recycling technology that is able to convert hard-to-recycle PET-containing waste like coloured bottles into purified polymer building blocks that can be later re-formed into high-quality PET. The technology has been validated at the demonstration scale with value chain partners, and a 10 kMT industrial plant is under construction in The Netherlands for commissioning in 2019.

“Our investment in new and pioneering recycling technologies is an opportunity for significant movement toward closing the loop and creating a circular economy for PET,” said Robert Long, Chief Innovation Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. “We plan to continue investing in developing the right partnerships and initiatives – like with Ioniqa – to support our vision of a World Without Waste.”

Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO at Ioniqa, says “partnering with The Coca-Cola Company is a further validation of our journey to launch this unique process for transforming hard-to-recycle PET waste into high-quality, food-grade material. The Ioniqa process allows for significant recovery and reuse of plastic materials that might otherwise not be recycled while delivering quality food-grade PET.”