Nike joins Coke, Ford, Heinz and P&G to develop plant-based plastics

Five global companies will work together to develop plant-derived plastics.

Five global companies will work together to develop plant-derived plastics.

Nike Inc. is part of a new collaborative of major consumer brands unveiled Tuesday that hope to accelerate the development of plant-based plastics.

In addition to Washington County-based Nike (NYSE: NKE), the Plant PET Technology Collaborative, as the group has been dubbed, also includes Coca-Cola Co. (NASDAQ: KO), the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).

All of the companies use polyethylene terephthalate, a durable lightweight plastic known as PET that shows up in everything from plastic bottles to carpet to — in Nike's case — apparel and footwear.

This new effort expounds upon Coca-Cola's "PlantBottle" packaging technology, in which it makes bottles make partially from plants that have a lower environmental impact than traditional PET plastics. Heinz is now licensing the technology from Coca-Cola for use in select ketchup bottles.

The new collaborative, however, hopes to support technologies that evolve the technology from one partially made from plants to one that is wholly derived from plants.

In a press release, the brands said they will "champion and support research" that helps accelerate the technology development and create a more sustainably sourced plastic.

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