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Archive for the tag “Hitachi”

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

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President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

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My letter to Electronics Producers who are responsible for supplying money to militias and guerrillas of the DRC!

Illegal Mining DRC

Dear Electronic Producers of end-products as Mobile Phones and such, I write to you in haste!

Then I mean the likes of Foxconn of China, Apple, Hitachi, Sanyo, NEC Tokin, Kemet, AVX, Vishay, Flextronics, Celestica Sanmina, Asustek, Jabil, Hewitt-Packard, Dell, Acer, IBM, Samsung, Motorola, Canon and Nokia. Also other suppliers who deliver the needed products for you too label and sell to the global market.  

I write too you with urgency, do you want your names to mentioned in blood, as your greed for the profits are no embedded with warlords and thieves of East Africa, as the exported mineral resources as Coltan, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten. These minerals are needed in your production to make your phones, your electronics and others.

There been warlords, been warriors and presidents that have looted the Southern and Northern Kivu of Democratic Republic of Congo. They have all used AK-47 and other weapons while taking territories, towns and villages. These are the places, where the militias and guerrillas are raping the woman, burning villages and taking over mines even with child-labor if needed.

All the deaths and wars since the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko in the end of 1990s, where the proxy war of Uganda and Rwanda in the Kivu’s where the mines are; and you have accepted this as you vouch for their armies and their militias taking the area, eating of the minerals, eating the stones and lifting the burden they have to buy ammunition to continue their thieving. The thieving and capturing the miners, destroying and taking the minerals, the minerals you use in your products, the end-products you want to sell to me and the world.

DRC Minerals

What is the pride of your fiscal profits, knowing you were securing payments, securing buying of small-arms and killings of fellow men and woman, on your watch, on your payment and your production? The initial end-game of Electronic Products is that as long as we know that, the Laptops, Smart-Phone and others are tainted with blood; they are tainted with the operation of warlords.

That cannot be gone away in silence, as long as the President of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, they are all in on it, and enjoy the monies with their proxy armies controlling various mines and different minerals, the issues and stages of exploitation of the Kivu’s.

If more people care, they would be aggravated, they would wonder if there was ways of producing the smart-phones and laptops without the minerals that are fueling the guerrillas and militias of Kivu, which is not extending the reign of Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. They are the reasons for these killings and these groups who extort this violence.

Kagame-Museveni-Kabila

The nonsense non-action, the deliberate assault for these minerals, and your plenty of usage, while knowing where it came from, with the extent of the force that it taken from the ground and into the factories, before sold with pop-song on the local TV-Station with a fancy name and image; that image should be tainted with the knowledge of how the minerals for it came to light of day, with the injustice, the impunity and dissolved society where the fear of violence, reckless warlords, relentless soldiers and murders keeping at bay the illegal logging of minerals of the Kivu’s. That is what the price of the profits.

The brave and Nobel men of the boardrooms of the companies, the men and woman of the PR firms, and the consumers, should be enlighten, should take a stand and we all should try to find ways to absorb and not buy the tainted electronics, or least spread the names of them who take the supply of blood-tainted minerals and make products for profit. That should be stopped, as the killings, the continued presence of militias and guerrillas, they are all been kept and fed by your money. The money you have supplied them, so they can continue to get guns and ammunition.

FARDC Beni May 2016

This money comes from the people, the citizens of the world, they should now and should extend their hands, if they about the atrocities and violence of the Kivu’s. They are serving your profits, the profits made on the guerrillas and militias controlling the mines and exploitations of the provinces with the enriched minerals of the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is what should be known, the silent and sudden killer of it all, the ones that responsible for the presence of modern technology, are militants and guerrillas who are fed on the violence as they export to industries that take it without questions.

It should be questioned and the people should care, the knowledge of these actions should be in the open and spoken more about. Last time the blood-diamonds movie and Leonardo DiCaprio played a reckless man who sold diamonds in Sierra Leone… maybe if they did the same with blood tainted minerals from the DRC, then the world citizens might care and asked for change of policy, but the average man don’t, they just want to enjoy 3G and 4G while surfing to read Tabloid papers and other madness, instead of using their waste opportunities to gain the needed knowledge of the affairs that is happening from afar with the technology at hand.

There is time to question; there are and been more than enough massacres and deaths happening in Beni, in Goma and in Kivu’s for the needed minerals. Time to ask the Electronics Companies and the Suppliers of these minerals to take actions, as their need for this is the reason why the atrocities and killings are happening. They are happing on our watch and with our knowledge. It is time to do something and ask for change, to pressure the DRC Government, to pressure the Electronic producers to use other suppliers if possible and stop fueling their profits into the warlords of East Africa, as they are responsible for their existence, as they are the ones giving them money and plenty to continue to harass and kill their fellow brother and sisters.

Best Regards

The Writer of Minbane

President Zuma – “If you don’t invest in the ANC, your business is in danger”

Zuma 2

Well, with the Hitachi deal in mind the recent comments and reports are scary. That the President Zuma stands and asks for pledges because that is good for business, that sounds like “buy-a-politician-program”. That is something that isn’t democratic or has the values that the ANC supposed to stand for. If looking at history and Mbeki with the famous arms-deals was bad enough. This will open the floodgates for more. Just read the comments for his speech yesterday!

Jacob Zuma said this yesterday:

““I always say to business people, if you support the ANC, you are investing very wisely. If you don’t invest in the ANC, your business is in danger. Tonight is [not only about the NGC] it is also to remind you that the ANC is a non-profit organization. t [the ANC] makes no profit. But it is very huge. It is the biggest organization in the country so just remember that this organization that you are associated with is a non-profit making organization which means that it is looking at you with a very interesting eye. Remember this organization because it has created an environment which is conducive for everything to be done. Let us work together, that is why more than ever before, you need to support the ruling party because it has very good policies and programmes. Remember that when you donate. We need you now more than any other time now. When the treasurer general knocks at your door open your door widely. If he says support the ANC, take out your cheque-book and tell him to write six figures]” (Khoza, 2015).

And if that wasn’t enough… you have the price for the people attending the speech yesterday!

While we’re talking about ANC and monies those need and wish for more support.

Another report told this:

“South Africa’s elite forked out anything between R100,000 to R1.5 million just for dinner with President Jacob Zuma on the eve of the National General Council” (New24Wire, 2015).

If you are as me sadden by this reports and quotes from a President of the great South African nation. Then you’re not alone, I am sure more people are appalled by it. They just don’t express it. ANC has a heritage and it’s been destroyed from within. The destruction and dismantling of the values and conduct of the ANC party is a strange vision to see from a far. Because they have the ability and opportunity to actually do the right thing, but power corrupts and finding the ques to it is easy and when you find the faucets of gold, it’s hard to stop it. Easier to continue to pour the gold into the coffers then to actually use that to the people and constituencies that the ANC represent. That is something that nobody likes from a far to see and also with sorrow. Peace.

Reference:

News24Wire – ‘R1.5 million for dinner with Jacob Zuma’ (09.10.2015) link: http://businesstech.co.za/news/general/100754/r1-5-million-for-dinner-with-jacob-zuma/

Khoza, Amanda – ‘Investing in ANC a wise move – Zuma’ (09.10.2015) link: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Investing-in-ANC-a-wise-move-Zuma-20151009

Recent Corruption cases: “It was part of being an insider but it was a very corrupting business”

Hapers

“He did not care for the lying at first. He hated it. Then later he had come to like it. It was part of being an insider but it was a very corrupting business.” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

You who follow my blog know I does this once in a while to prove that corruption isn’t a one area thing, it’s international and got no borders. Always somebody who want to pocket some easy and quick money, that is because it’s easier then actually work for the money in the end. This time around there is a few Island cases two cases on the Dominican Island and one that origins from Mauritius. The World Bank president is addressing taxation and how bad practices can destroy economic situation in low-developed countries. In South Africa there been a shady deal between Statehouse and the Hitachi, the ANC are continuing to do this and the old cases that has hurt the regime like he army deal in not to distance past. And a UN environmental negotiator who has a few counts of tax fraud so that the United Nation has even some people who got questionable actions. No place in the world you can walk anymore without insider, but it was a very corrupting business. Seems like a worry from Dominican Republic to the New York UN office. Take a quick look!

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In the Dominican Republic:

“The alleged bagman in the State Works Supervisory Engineers Office (OISOE) on Monday said the money provided to contractors to conclude construction of schools came from the beleaguered agency´s technical director, Jose Florencio” (…)”Alejo Perez said the money was sometimes handed out at the schools or at OISOE headquarters, in presence of de los Santos´ and the engineer in charge of the work. “These payments were sometimes made in cash or checks.” (…)”When asked what de los Santos did with the money he gave to Florencio, Alejo said: “They gave it to the engineers on loan to finish the work, which was withdrawn from a line of credit” (Dominican Today, 2015).

There is even another recent case on the island:

“The embezzlement case against ruling PLD party and senator Felix Bautista has unleashed a crisis of confidence among Supreme Court justices Frank Soto and Miriam German, who in a letter dated September 21called her colleague unfair, disrespectful and abusive” (…)”The Supreme Court on September 22 set a hearing for Oct. 21 to hand down the ruling on the prosecution´s appeal against Bautista´s acquittal by a lower court” (Dominican Today, 2015).

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More trouble in another Island Paradise:

“Senior figures from the island’s new government visited Britain in the summer to lobby for a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into the 68-year-old British passport holder for alleged corruption in Mauritius” (…)”The NCA is believed to have contacted the island authorities for details of credit cards found in Mr Ramgoolam’s safe that included two Centurion American Express cards given only to high-spenders. Mr Rangoolam, who owns a Rolls-Royce with a personalised number plate in London, has vowed to open his accounts to independent scrutiny in an attempt to persuade the NCA that he owns no property in Britain and only legitimately amassed savings. Banks in the UK shut down his accounts after the arrest in February” (…)”Any British investigation into Mr Ramgoolam would fit the profile of the more than 20 high-profile politicians being targeted by the National Crime Agency’s International Corruption Unit (ICU)” (Fellstrom & Peachey, 2015).

Statement from the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim:

“Some companies use elaborate strategies to not pay taxes in countries in which they work, a form of corruption that hurts the poor” (…)”We reject “trickle-down” notions that assume that any undifferentiated growth permeates and fortifies the soil and everything starts to bloom, even for the poor” (…)”Developing countries must also construct more equitable, efficient and transparent tax collection systems.  IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and I pledged a few months ago that our organizations will do all we can to help countries collect more taxes more fairly” (Tax Justice Network, 2015).

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In South Africa:

A deal between Hitachi Ltd and the Government of South Africa:

“SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS

Hitachi allegedly sold a 25-percent stake in a newly created South African subsidiary to Chancellor, a local South African company serving as a front for the ANC, South Africa’s ruling political party. This arrangement allegedly gave Chancellor and the ANC the ability to share in the profits from any power station contracts that Hitachi secured. During the bidding process, Hitachi was allegedly aware that Chancellor was a funding vehicle for the ANC but nevertheless continued to partner with Chancellor and allegedly encouraged Chancellor’s use of its political influence to help obtain the government contracts” (…)”Hitachi was ultimately awarded two contracts to build Medupi and Kusile power stations in South Africa and Hitachi’s lax internal control environment allegedly enabled its subsidiary to pay Chancellor approximately USD 5 million in “dividends” based on profits derived from the contracts. Through a separate, undisclosed arrangement, Hitachi allegedly paid Chancellor an additional USD 1 million in “success fees” that were inaccurately booked as consulting fees and other legitimate payments without appropriate documentation” (Trace International, 2015).

RATIO OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO BUSINESS ADVANTAGE

 Approximate Alleged Payments to Foreign Officials  Business Advantage Allegedly Obtained
 USD 5 million in “dividends” based on profits derived from the contracts & USD 1 million in “success fees” inaccurately recorded as consulting fees  Awarded of two contracts, worth approximately USD 5.6 billion, to build power stations in South Africa

(Trace International, 2015).

“HOW CONDUCT WAS DISCOVERED

On 10 November 2006, the Mail & Guardian published an article, entitled “the ANC’s New Funding Front,” exposing Chancellor as a business front set up by the ANC to seek profit on its behalf, generally by acquiring “empowerment” stakes in a wide range of businesses seeking state procurement” (…)”On 19 January 2007, Financial Mail published an article, entitled “Finacing the ANC, Untold millions,” quoting the admission by Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC Secretary General, that Chancellor was an “ANC vehicle” that existed for the sole purpose of funding the ANC” (Trace International, 2015).

A little more of the case:

“The story of how Hitachi bought political influence, in order to win a $5.6 billion power station contract, calls into question not only the integrity of a massive company with a global reputation, but also the integrity of the South African government” (…)”A $19m fine for a company of Hitachi’s size, when they have won a $5.6 billion tender, is laughable and certainly does not help with law enforcement efforts to stamp out corruption” (Kenney, 2015).

chicagoway_cash

In the U.S.:

Chicago the place of Al Capone and other villains of old there are new corrupt faces:

“Charges that Byrd-Bennett steered more than $23 million in work to Supes and Synesi Associates “in expectation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks,” according to Fardon’s office” (…)”Byrd-Bennett, 66, faces 15 counts of mail fraud and five of wire fraud. Solomon, 47, faces those charges, plus alleged bribery and conspiracy, as does Vranas, 34” (…)”Her attorney confirmed that plan in a brief statement:”Barbara Byrd-Bennett will plead guilty to charges in the indictment,” Michael Scudder, a partner in the Chicago office of law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom,” said. “As part of accepting full responsibility for her conduct, she will continue to cooperate with the government, including testifying truthfully if called upon to do so” (Hinz, 2015).

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Even in the UN:

Who knew that a negotiator in the UN for clean-energy and environmental issues has been getting accused on 5 counts on Tax fraud, here are brief information on the case.”A former president of the U.N. General Assembly “sold himself and the global institution he led” by allegedly pocketing more than $1 million in bribes to finance a luxury spending spree, according to a federal prosecutor” (…)”Ashe is accused of underreporting his income by more than $1.2 million, prosecutors said” (…)”ASHE also then began soliciting additional payments from LORENZO to pay for the installation of a private basketball court at ASHE’s house in Westchester County. In addition to agreeing to pay for ASHE’s family vacation and basketball court, LORENZO began paying ASHE’s wife, as a “climate change consultant” for NGO-1, in the amount of $2,500 per month” (Greenfield, 2015).

Afterthought:

If this wasn’t interesting then something must be missing. The corruptness is worrying that now even cracks in the UN system, that the World Bank President talks like he does is natural, that their been shady deals in South Africa isn’t new anymore; More like how much the deals are between the Government of South Africa between a Certain Company and then which MP or Minister who earns extra for it. The Mauritius clear-out is happening with a former PM having issues while the former President is behind bars, something is fishy on that island. Another island has two brief and new cases of corruption and that is on the Dominican Island. But the whole total of money discussed in these matters is big and terrifying for the state of the places and people involved in the matter. Like the quote from Hemmingway, I am sure that the persons are over time more easily doing the corrupt business and actions. Because over time it got easy and made the persons feels like insider. Though it still not right! Thieving and stealing is the same, and corruption is a malpractice and a form of stealing money. Peace.

Reference:

Dominican Today – ‘Suicide uncovers widespread graft at notorious agency’ (06.10.2015) link: http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2015/10/6/56703/Suicide-uncovers-widespread-graft-at-notorious-agency

Dominican Today – ‘Supreme Court justices bicker over embezzlement case’ (05.10.2015) link: http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2015/10/5/56695/Supreme-Court-justices-bicker-over-embezzlement-case

Kenney, Martin – ‘Hitachi’s South Africa $19m bribery fine’ (02.10.2015) link: http://www.martinkenney.com/articles/hitachi-south-africa-19m-bribery-fine/

Fellstrom, Carl & Peachey Paul – ‘Ex-Prime Minister of Mauritius under investigation by UK anti-corruption unit’ (04.10.2015) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/ex-prime-minister-of-mauritius-under-investigation-by-uk-anti-corruption-unit-a6679111.html

Greenfield, Daniel – ‘MAJOR UN CLIMATE ACCORD, AGENDA 21 NEGOTIATOR ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION’ (07.10.2015) link: https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/260376/major-un-climate-accord-agenda-21-negotiator-daniel-greenfield

Hinz, Greg – ‘Ex-CPS chief Byrd-Bennett indicted on federal corruption charges’ (08.10.2015) link: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20151008/BLOGS02/151009840/ex-cps-chief-byrd-bennett-indicted-on-federal-corruption-charges

Trace International – ‘Trace Compendium – Hitachi Ltd’ (28.09.2015) link: https://www.traceinternational2.org/compendium/view.asp?id=686&utm_source=TRACE+Compendium+Alert%3A+Hitachi+Ltd.+9.28.15&utm_campaign=COMPENDIUM+ALERT%3A+Hitachi+Ltd.+9.28.15&utm_medium=email

Tax Justice Network – ‘World Bank president: corporate tax dodging ‘a form of corruption’’ (02.10.2015) link: http://www.taxjustice.net/2015/10/02/world-bank-president-corporate-tax-dodging-a-form-of-corruption/

A look into the Coke’s BioPET-PlantBottle™ 1.0 – Is it really Green or is it Greenwashing?

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We live in a time where big multinational companies who do what they can do their business. Buy for one, sell for two. That is capitalism and the dream of getting wealth and generating it. We live in a day and age where multinational companies have vast powers and can use it whatever way they like. They can if wanting to make as much of wealth to circus of companies and hide the earnings in a tax-haven in the Caribbean or in Lichtenstein. But this article or blog will be about that. It’s about another possibility that they can do.

greenwash-noun

Milking a special type of cow:

Something that isn’t right. Companies can if they feel tell stories and express themselves as they please. Until a certain extent they can if they want to make them look extra good, but if so they shouldn’t play in-between reality and fiction. Especially not portraying stories about their products – they can make their milk being squeezed out a most beautiful cow ever. Even if wasn’t most purebred highland cattle from the western islands of Scotland. Instead it’s made with some lame ass country cow. If a Milk producing company said their entire product was made from Highland Cattle, we as consumer expect the product to be that, right? So if the pieces of production and process is made with fractions of other milking cow it want be pure Highland. It will be milk, but not as promised. Some people would be devastated. Some people would call it fraud. And partly it is, even if pieces of it made with the milk. This piece here will be about similar way of acting one way, and acting another. While telling the public something else. This here is a kind of way to make something greener then it really is. It isn’t really green, but said so. In a way that mislead the public. Some people calls that way of acting for Greenwashing. It’s a nice way to express them in similar incidence. First certain words will be translated like PEF, PET, PTA and LRB. So that people will know what they are. After that I will show what a certain company called the Coca-Cola Company makes which a famous Bottle the famous PlantBottle™.

Words to know:

  • polyethylene furanoate (PEF)
  • polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • purified terephthalic acid (PTA).
  • liquid refreshment beverages (LRB)

PETPlantbottleProcess2PETPlantbottleProcess2

Bio-Plastic information:

The first information is that it’s renewable made from Sugercane-polyethylene which has the ability to replace 30% of the petroleum that would have been used for making certain type of plastic. The other good piece of using bio-plastic will be lower-carbon footprint (Sugercane.org).

Hitachi company explains what PTA is: “Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is made by causing a reaction between the secondary petroleum product paraxylene (PX) and acetic acid”. When Hitachi describes PET its like this: “Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) is a general-purpose plastic made through polycondensation of PTA with ethylene glycol (EG). This material has many outstanding properties: resistance to both heat and cold, transparency, electrical qualities, chemical proof and abrasion proof” (Hitachi).

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How Coca-Cola endeavors to make the PlantBottle™:

Here is how it has gone from 2011, when Gevo made an agreement with the Coca-Cola Company to make the second generation plant-bottle with Isobutanol.  Further commenting on the important factor between Coca-Cola and GEVO: “The global market for PET is approximately 50 million metric tons and has a value of $100 billion, with approximately 30 percent used for plastic bottles. In this next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging, Coca-Cola plans to produce plastic beverage bottles made entirely from renewable raw materials” (Gevo, 2011).

PlantBottle-productline

In the same year (2011) Coca-Cola Company made already a deal with Virent: “signing multi-year, multi-million dollar Joint Development and Supply Agreements to scale-up Virent’s plant-based Paraxylene (PX), trademarked BioFormPX, as a route to commercially viable, 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle PET resin. In the past, Coca Cola’s PlantBottles have included only 30% plant-based plastic. Virent’s chemical allows the remaining 70% of the bottle to be plant-based” (…) “Virent is one of three companies working with Coca-Cola on PlantBottle technology. The others are Colorado-based Gevo and Avantium, which is based in the Netherlands” (Lane, 2014).

In South Africa in Wadeville outside of Johannesburg, South Africa there is coming a new bottle-plant. This is Africa’s first: “Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market. The 3000m2 Phoenix PET plant, equipped with Starlinger technology, will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting its target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015” (Parkes, 2015).

Later JBF Industries and Coca-Cola went into a partnership in 2012 to produce bio-glycol that will be used in the new plant-bottle. This will end up with a deal and an agreement that will do this: “Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and will last 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of nonrenewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year” (Mohan, 2012).

corn to plastics poster

The Dreams of Coca-Cola Company and their PlantBottle™ 2.0:

A spokesman for Coke Scott Vitters commented in 2014 this: “Coca-Cola introduced the world to PlantBottle in 2009. The technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to the fossil based ones traditionally used in polyester fiber and resins. PlantBottle packaging looks, functions and importantly recycles just like traditional polyester (or PET) plastic, but with a lower dependence on fossil fuels and a lighter environmental footprint on the planet” (…) “Today our first generation PlantBottle technology replaces one of the two ingredients that make PET plastic. Our long-term target is to realize a 100% renewable, fully recyclable plastic bottle. To realize this goal, Coca-Cola is investing millions in local technology companies – companies like Virent in Madison, Wisconsin; Gevo in Englewood, Colorado and Avantium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands” (Vitters, 2014).

“Continuing in rigid high-barrier packaging, polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle development remains on track. Avantium has entered into an agreement with ALPLA for development of PEF bottles, with the first bottles targeted to reach market by 2016. Avantium has also partnered with Coca-Cola and Danone in the development of PEF bottles”. (…) ”PEF is a next-generation, bio-based, recyclable polyester developed by Avantium on the basis of furanics technology. According to Avantium, PEF has 50-60 percent lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET” (Rosato, 2014).

Right now the Coca-Cola Company together with other industry packaging companies as Virent, Gevo and Avantium has made this possible: “The PlantBottle 2.0 represents an upgrade to the existing bio-based PlantBottle the beverage company already uses for some of its drinks. This substitute for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles has a 30% bio-based content, principally derived from Brazilian sugar cane supplied by Braskem”. In the future the same companies hope for “The 100% bioplastic bottle is the result of collaboration between Coca-Cola, Geno and Virent to perfect bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Commercial rollout of PlantBottle 2.0 will take place over the next five years, culminating in a full replacement in 2020” (SustPack).

Ringier Plastics commented this: “From traditional PET to recyclable (also known as R-PET) to bio-based PET, technology and environmental properties have come a long way. PET generally consists of 70% terephthalic acid and 30% monoethylene glycol (MEG). But now it is quite possible to produce bio-based MEG from renewable raw materials instead of fossils. Coca-Cola is a pioneer is adopting bio-PET packaging with its PlantBottle™, producing the first ever fully-recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle using 30% of non-fossil material and resulting in less carbon footprint. Coca-Cola aims to convert all its plastic packaging to PlantBottle by 2020 and entered into a partnership with H.J. Heinz Co. to produce ketchup bottles using PlantBottle material” (Ringier Plastics, 2015).

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The Marketing Companies making PlantBottle™ what it is:

“Fahrenheit 212 worked with Coca-Cola’s global packaging team to translate a complex and contentious advance in polymer production into a clear and compelling consumer proposition.  The PlantBottle brand name evolved from the concept development and strategic positioning work undertaken by Fahrenheit 212 and the PlantBottle icon, which has been now been featured on over 10 billion packages since its launch in 2010, was conceived and created by our in-house design team” (…) “In its first year, PlantBottle was launched in nine global markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and the United States across brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Dasani and vitaminwater”  (Fahrenheit 212). The other marketing plan of Coca-Cola company was merged with another agency they did this: “Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign uses Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white color scheme and optical illusions to create intriguing images for the new bottle. The print ads all emphasize a way that plants make us happy, followed by the message that Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is “Up to 30% made from plants” and “100% recyclable.”“ (Oster, 2014). One of Ogilvy & Mather’s ads just below.

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It all sound beautiful doesn’t it. Mixing PEF and PET like its nothing? Plastic turned fantastic from petroleum based sort of bottle into plant heaven, right? Is there a reason why it just sounds so magnificent! If so, why does it for the last five years show up a dirty dozens of similar quotes from Scott Vitters in all kind of outlets from the Guardian to the New Zealand Scumbag post? That makes a brother like me curious. Especially when they been cooking this for so long.

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Well, there isn’t everybody who has a piece of pay from Coca-Cola Company. This reports I come with now haven’t a clear connection or are in business with the Company. They are separated from it and are on their own. So you should see what their saying and be fascinated.

There many ways of telling how it really is: “Coke invented the Plant Bottle.  The Plant Bottle is made from sugarcane, a food source.  The Plant Bottle is a PET plastic bottle.  The Plant bottle is 100% PET, 70% made from oil and 30% from sugarcane.  The Plant Bottle is not biodegradable and lasts as long as the petroleum-based PET however a large segment of the population believes that the Plant Bottle is, in fact, biodegradable” (…) “Coke has invested heavily in rPET bottle-to-bottle recycling.  Coke is a large buyer of rPET pellets in China and reputedly is putting rPET in small” (…) “The largest producer of rPET pellets in China is tripling its capacity in 2011” (…) “Krones, one of the world’s largest developers and supplies of machinery to the bottling industry is introducing a series of super efficient PET washing and flaking recycling equipment.  rPET flakes and pellets can be manufactured at prices less than virgin PET” (N.Michaels).

Another example of renewable resources usage are PET bottles – called Plant Bottle. Those bottles are composed of PET, produced from terephthalic acid (70 % of mass) and ethylene glycol (30 % of mass). Terephthalic acid comes from oil, whereas glycol is produced from ethanol (deriving from fermentation of vegetable feedstock). Such bottles can be easily recycled, and they can be collected with other (classical) PET bottles. This partially bio-based PET saves global fossil resources and also reduces CO2 emissions. Plant Bottle is 20 % biobased (20 % of the carbon present in the material comes from renewable resources) and 30 % bio-massed (30 % of the mass of the material comes from renewable resources) and a simple scheme on figure 12 shows how the Plant Bottle is made (Plastice).

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Gendell said in 2012 this about the PlantBottle: “The first complexity is that only a portion is plant-based, so the PET is also composed of some things that ought to stay within a technological closed loop” (…) “The other complexity is that there must be a mechanism by which the plant-based material may return to nature and participate in the biological cycle. Even if the first complexity were resolved by making PET entirely from plant-based materials (which is not truly possible today, considering all the catalysts and polymer chemistry whatsits that are not made from plants), the PET would still be an inherently non-biodegradable material” (Gendell, 2012).

In Denmark a Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe is a Danish Consumer Ombudsman says this: “criticized Coke’s use of several marketing ploys, including the use of the word “plant,” excessive green colors and a circular-arrow logo inspired by the familiar symbol for recyclability. The ombudsman also noted a lack of documentation to support Coke’s claim that PlantBottle is “environmentally friendly” or has a “reduced carbon footprint.”” (…) “the bottle contains only a maximum of 15 percent plant material — a percentage he said hardly justifies the designation “PlantBottle.”” (…) “The Consumer Ombudsman requested the trader to indicate the minimum percentage of plant material in the bottle or to explain more clearly why the plant material proportion of the bottle was specified as ‘up to 15 percent” (Zara, 2013).

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The issue with getting a 100% Bio-PET bottle is a big issue for Coca-Cola Company. Ordinary PET or 30% Bio-PET bottle has Petroleum-based component considering the bio-based in PEF. The Plastic Packaging Expert Gordon Bockner: “PEF molecule is a contaminant in the existing PET stream. A very small amount of PEF will (a) reduce the performance characteristic of the resulting PET/PEF blend and (b) neither will the blend be crystal clear and glossy, which are two of the key (marketing) attributes OPET. It is, therefore, not realistic to suggest that the two resins might be successfully blended to make a commodity LRB packaging resin” (Pierce, 2014).

Liz Baird the Environmental Consultant has said this about the PlantBottle:”When a company uses their marketing to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer, but they are spending more money marketing than they spend on being green, it’s called greenwashing” (…) “For example, there are some companies who tout their products as green, but if you look at the list of ingredients, palm oil is one of them. Harvesting palm oil is extremely dangerous to the orangutans” (EcoDaily, 2015).

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After thought:

This here story here is about the 30% Bio Sugarcane based PET Resin and the rest of the bottle 70%. Not the newly released bottle that is supposable 100% BioBased Plant bottle. It hasn’t been addressed yet because I don’t see how it’s made possible and there aren’t reports or scientific how the whole PET resin is made. Therefore I won’t address it today. This here is just a full case on how Coca-Cola Company has described the infamous Plantbottle™. So since this original Plantbottle™ 1.0 is 30%. And call all natural you get the feel of a greenwash perception scheme. That isn’t fair for the consumer or society. It even got a Danish Ombudsman on the tail, but the same scenario and drop hasn’t made a fuzz where else it has been released, this is something about the leniency towards the Coca-Cola Company in these countries that has this specific bottle. That you have many companies on all sides of the globe focusing on how to make a Sugarcane bottle instead of a petroleum-based one, the first step was using 30% of the Bio PET resin. If they will fix it and make it, also make sure that it can contain the material that it’s talking about. It can’t be either or. Has to been made for a certain type of PET-Resin to make it hard enough to be a bottle for production-line and to contain the sugar-caffeine-carbonated-liquid called Coke from Coca-Cola Company.

Wonder how it will be 100% compared to the 1.0 type of bottle. That will be another story. Would be another story to see how the produce and production of Plantbottle 2.0 who supposed to be 100% made of sugarcane. And I might go into detail about that if I get the hold of that information. I can’t write it out of the thin air. Got to taste the carbonated sugar-water and then get the feel of the flavors and ways. Peace.

Reference:

EcoDaily – ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green – Labeling Can Be A Guise’ (01.07.2015) Link: http://ecodaily.org/its-not-easy-being-green-labeling-can-be-a-guise/

Parkes, Lisa – ‘Africa’s first Bottle-2-Bottle Plastic Recycling Plant Opens its Doors in Wadeville’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.petco.co.za/ag3nt/system/about_petco_dynamic_blog.php

Oster, Erik – ‘Ogilvy & Mather NY Introduces PlantBottle for Coca-Cola’ (09.06.2015) Link: http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/ogilvy-mather-ny-launches-plants-make-us-happy-for-coca-cola/67789

Mohan, Anne Marie – ‘Coca-Cola enters partnership to expand PlantBottle production’ (27.09.2012) Link: http://www.greenerpackage.com/bioplastics/coca-cola_enters_partnership_expand_plantbottle_production

Fahrenheit 212 – ‘Coca-Cola PlantBottle – Defining the Consumer Proposition for Bio-PET’ Link: http://www.fahrenheit-212.com/coca-cola-plantbottle/

Rosato, Don – ‘Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances’ (28.07.2014) Link: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/green-plastic-barrier-packaging-material-and-process-advances/food-beverage

Pierce, Lisa McTigue – ‘PEF will not oust PET for beverage bottles anytime soon’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.packagingdigest.com/resins/pef-will-not-oust-pet-for-beverage-bottles-anytime-soon140724

N.Michaels: ‘Why and When will Bottle-to-Bottle rPET Technology Dominate?’ (03.12.2010) Link: http://theplanetbottle.net/news/2010/12/why-and-when-will-bottle-to-bottle-rpet-technology-dominate/#sthash.QksuvCPg.dpuf

Lane, Isabel – ‘Coke invests further in scaling Virent’s paraxylene production for PlantBottle’ (09.09.2014) link: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/09/09/coke-invests-further-in-scaling-virents-paraxylene-production-for-plantbottle/

Gendell, Adam – ‘The catch behind Coca-Cola’s switch to plant-based bottles’ (10.10.2012) Link: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2012/10/10/catch-behind-coca-colas-switch-plant-based-bottles

Ringier Plastics – ‘Bio-based PET shows the way forward’ (07.05.2015) Link: http://www.industrysourcing.com/article/bio-based-pet-shows-way-forward

Vitters, Scott – ‘Statement of Scott Vitters General Manager, PlantBottle Innovation Platform The Coca-Cola Company United States Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry United States Senate June 17, 2014’

PTA – ‘Production process for purified terephthalic acid (PTA)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pta.html

PET – ‘Production process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pet.html

Sugarcane.org – ‘Bioplastics’ Link: http://sugarcane.org/sugarcane-products/bioplastics

SustPack – ‘Coca-Cola Gives Expo Debut To 100% Bio-Based PlantBottle’ Link: http://www.sustainability-in-packaging.com/news/coca-cola-gives-expo-debut-to-100-bio-based-plantb

Gevo – ‘Bio-based Isobutanol to Enable Coca-Cola to Develop Second Generation PlantBottle™ Packaging’ link: http://www.gevo.com/?casestudy=bio-based-isobutanol-to-enable-coca-cola-to-develop-second-generation-plantbottle-packaging

Zara, Christopher – ‘Coca-Cola Company (KO) Busted For ‘Greenwashing’: PlantBottle Marketing Exaggerated Environmental Benefits, Says Consumer Report’ (03.09.2013) Link: http://www.ibtimes.com/coca-cola-company-ko-busted-greenwashing-plantbottle-marketing-exaggerated-environmental-benefits

Patent – ‘Method of making a bottle made of fdca and diol monomers and apparatus for implementing such method’ (31.08.2012): http://www.google.com/patents/WO2014032731A1?cl=en

Plastice – ‘Bioplastics – Opportunity for the Future’ (2013) Link: http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/Plastice_Bioplastics_Opportunity_for_the_Future_web.pdf

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