Coca-Cola Reveals New Plant-Based Bottle

Max Boath - Contributing Writer
Posted on Thursday 28th May 2009

“Soda bottle”—the image you might first think of is a bottle of Coke. But the word “plant” probably conjures up far different thoughts, about trees, maybe a factory, or perhaps even your countertop flower pot, which you certainly wouldn’t drink a Coke out of. The Coca-Cola Company has just decided to combine all of these: its bottle-manufacturing plants will start using plants to make their plastic bottles.

Ssustainable Packaging

When it comes to sustainable packaging, no one is ahead of the game than the Coca-Cola Company. The inventors of the first recyclable plastic bottle decades ago, Coca-Cola has built infrastructure to create recyclable packaging and ensure that it is collected, recycled, and reused. Earlier this year, the company opened the world’s largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant, calculated to break down 100 million pounds of PET plastic into reusable material every year.

Coke’s new “PlantBottle™” is the newest sustainable packaging innovation, and the first bottle of its kind. The bottle plastic is a blend of petroleum-based material and 30 percent plant-based material. The plant-based material is made from sugarcane and molasses, which are by-products of sugar production, and it substitutes a key component in the production of PET plastic. The utilization of plant-derived plastics has two major benefits: using 30 percent plant-based plastics cuts carbon emissions by 25 percent, according to a study done by the Imperial College London; and when recycled, the plant-plastic does not contaminate traditional PET, making it ideal to add to the current recycling plan. Coke is also researching other plant-materials for the use of future bottle designs.

Coca-Cola North America plans on marketing the new bottles later this year, first with Dasani bottled water, and then in 2010 with vitamin water.

The Coca-Cola Company is the largest beverage distributor in the world, serving over 200 countries with 1.6 billion servings per day of its nearly 500 brands. The new sustainable bottle puts the company on track with its goal of eventually introducing a bottle made of completely recyclable and reusable material. Coca-Cola hopes that its leading-edge environmental innovations will help transform the marketplace and be able to tackle sustainability issues through the supply chain. All the fuss makes one wonder if it was worth ever moving on from the classic glass bottles.

test image for this block