News Release

  • (2016/1/13)
  • Suntory Holdings Limited
    Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

Decision to Construct Development and Testing Plant in U.S. for Development of 100% Bio-based PET Bottles

- Joint development with Anellotech Inc.-
- PET raw material to be produced from non-food biomass -

Suntory Holdings Limited and Anellotech Inc., a green innovation and technology company, are jointly developing the key component needed to make 100% bio-based PET bottles, and recently decided to construct a development and testing plant in Texas, U.S.A. Construction is scheduled to begin late January this year, with completion and operation scheduled during 2016.

Suntory seeks to introduce these 100% bio-based PET bottle products including Suntory Beverage & Food’s (Mineral Water) Suntory Tennensui brand.
Under its corporate philosophy of “In Harmony with People and Nature,” Suntory Group carries out various activities aimed at reducing the environmental load, to preserve a sustainable global environment for future generations. In the area of packaging, under its unique strategy of “2R+B”*1, the Group is engaged in the development of PET bottles with reduced environmental impact, including the implementation of the lightest PET bottles in Japan*2 that use 30% bio-based materials for (Mineral Water) Suntory Tennensui 550ml bottles.

*1 “2R+B” (Reduce, Recycle + Bio) is the concept of substituting petroleum-derived raw materials with renewable raw materials to the extent possible, while ensuring the thoroughly efficient use of resources by reducing the amount of resins used, and by using recycled materials in the development of PET bottles. In order to “reduce,” the thorough reduction of weight is promoted not only for the bottles themselves but also for labels and caps. As for “recycle,” Suntory structured Japan’s first bottle-to-bottle mechanical recycling system, and in “bio,” Suntory has been rolling out proactive activities for reducing the environmental load, such as the introduction of 30% bio based PET bottles

*2 500ml-600ml mineral water PET bottles produced in Japan as of January 2016

In order to further advance such activities Suntory Holdings Limited began a joint development in 2012 with Anellotech Inc., a company aiming to produce bio-aromatics including bio-paraxylene, the key component needed to make bio-based PET bottle. In order to avoid competition with the food chain, two companies aim to use only non-food biomass (wood chip) to produce paraxylene, a precursor to terephthalic acid which composes 70% of PET resin.
Now with proven reliability at the laboratory level, and toward commercialization as a product, it was recently decided to construct a development and testing plant in Silsbee, Hardin County, Texas.

●Development of 100% bio-based PET bottles
Suntory Group plans to develop 100% bio-based PET bottles by combining the technology of the already-implemented 30% bio-based PET bottles *3, with this recent technology*4.

*3 Using bio-based materials to produce mono ethylene glycol which composes 30% of PET resin.

*4 Using non-food biomass to produce paraxylene, a precursor to terephthalic acid which composes 70% of PET resin.

●About Anellotech Inc.
Founded in 2008, Anellotech is a bio-sourced chemical startup with headquarters and a research and development facility located in Pearl River, New York, in the U.S. Anellotech promotes the technological development for producing benzene, toluene and xylene*5, which have the same performance as refined petroleum products, from non-food biomass.

*5 Paraxylene, one of the xylene isomers.

About Suntory Group
Suntory Group was established in 1889 in Osaka (about $20 billion annual sales revenue company). With its headquarters located in Japan, the group is a multi-faceted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage company operating widely in various regions around the world including Asia, Oceania, Europe and the U.S.

For non-alcoholic beverages, the Group’s brands include Orangina (Europe and Asia), Schweppes (Europe except U.K. and Ireland), Lucozade, Ribena (U.K.), C.C.Lemon and BRAND’S (Asia). We carry various brands of alcoholic beverages including world-renowned Japanese whiskies Yamazaki and Hibiki, The Premium Malt’s in beer, and Château Lagrange in wine, which is developed in collaboration with a prestigious winery. In May 2014, the Group acquired all issued shares ($16 billion) of the U.S.’s Beam Inc., and newly started Beam Suntory Inc., reinforcing the sales of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and more. Further, the group is engaged in businesses outside of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, such as restaurant operations in areas including Mexico and Asia, and a flower business that produced the world’s first blue rose.

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