This headline stopped me cold: “Coca-Cola launches project to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and transform it into sugar.”
I checked to see if the story came from the Onion. It didn’t. I looked at the calendar. The month was August not April. I searched Google for the article’s source. It was a legit press release from Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.
The U.K.-based bottler that serves Europe, Australia, and the island nations surrounding Australia has partnered with the University of California, Berkeley “to develop scalable methods of converting captured CO2 into sugar,” the company announced in August. Attention, grabbed.
Through its CCEP Ventures unit, the Europe-based bottler will help fund work by UCB’s Peidong Yang Research Group. The sugar extracted from carbon dioxide could be used in beverage products or in the production of PET plastic, reducing the need for crude oil, the bottler said. “The development of lab scale prototypes could make the generation of essential raw and packaging materials more sustainable in the long-term,” according to CCEP. “It could reduce, some of the largest CO2 contributors in supply chains, while saving material, transportation and logistics costs.”
Aside from the sheer cool factor of such scientific work, there is good reason for bottlers like CCEP to call attention to this work years before it will yield truly scalable results. Consumers, especially younger consumers, want...