Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation, announced an agreement with consumer goods company Suntory Holding Ltd, and energy company ENEOS Corporation aimed at building a supply chain for the production of sustainable PET plastic bottles to be made from biomass.

According to Mitsubishi, the companies expect to produce bio-paraxylene (bio-PX) equivalent to approximately 35 million PET bottles, to be used as a raw material for Suntory’s sustainable PET bottles in 2024.

Mitsubishi will oversee the supply chain which starts with renewable fuel supplier NESTE supplying bio-based feedstock derived from 100% renewable sources like used cooking oil, replacing fossil-based naphtha.

ENEOS will produce bio-PX at its Mizushima Refinery using the bio-naphtha as the starting material, and the bio-PX will be used to manufacture bio-high purity terephthalic acid (PTA) and bio-PET bottles. Suntory will then incorporate bio-PET resin into the production of sustainable PET bottles for its products.

According to Mitsubishi, this will be the first time sustainable PET bottles have been produced using bio-PX derived from bio-naphtha on a commercial scale, with the development of the new supply chain contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions, compared to conventional petroleum-derived product.

In a statement announcing the agreement, Mitsubishi said:

“We believe the usage of biomass for PET bottles, together with further development of the recycling system, will play an important role in the realization of a low-carbon and decarbonized society as well as in reducing dependency on fossil resources.”