A New Approach To An Old Problem

By / Magazine / April 11th, 2011 / Like

Do you love the convenience of bottled water, but feel guilty about the waste? What if there were a way to ensure that 100% of the plastic is recyclable and re-usable?

Dasani and Odwalla beverage products will be switching to new PlantBottle packaging. All single-serving bottles will be available exclusively using this new material. It’s apparently the first-ever fully recyclable plastic beverage bottle produced using plants. The material is made from up to 100 percent plant-based materials and blended with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic.

“It’s our goal to make traditional plastic bottles a thing of the past and ensure that every beverage we produce is available in 100 percent plant-based, fully recyclable packaging,” said Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle Packaging Platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “The national launch of Dasani PlantBottle packaging represents an  important step towards reducing our carbon footprint, and the up to 100 percent plant-based, recyclable packaging used for Odwalla is the first of its kind in the beverage industry.”

Traditional PET bottles are made from petroleum and other nonrenewable fossil fuels. Incorporating a blend of petroleum-based materials with up to 30 percent plant-based materials allows Dasani PlantBottle packaging to reduce potential intrinsic carbon dioxide emissions when compared with PET plastic bottles.

“As a company, Coca-Cola has the opportunity to transform the marketplace by changing its operations, and the introduction of fully recyclable plant-based bottles is a great example of putting that power to good use,” said Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. “We are pleased to be working with Coca-Cola and its partners to integrate  sustainability initiatives and encourage eco-friendly changes through its supply chain, the broader industry and the world.”

So how does it actually work? The plant-based materials for both Dasani and Odwalla PlantBottle packaging are produced through a process that turns sugarcane into a key component for PET and HDPE plastic. Currently, PlantBottle packaging is made using sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, the only source widely recognized globally for its unique environmental and social performance. Brazilian sugarcane is primarily rain fed and industrially grown on abundant, arable land using organic fertilizers. The plantations from which PlantBottle materials are sourced are located far away from Amazon rain forests, and their impact on biodiversity is reduced thanks to advanced farming practices and sound public policy.

PlantBottle packaging is entirely recyclable and can be processed through existing systems. This ensures that PlantBottle packaging can be repeatedly used, recycled and reused. In addition, there are no differences in shelf life, weight, composition or appearance between traditional PET plastic bottles and PlantBottle plastic bottles. PlantBottle was first launched in Canada in 2009 as part of The Coca-Cola Company’s sustainability plan for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. To date, PlantBottle packaging worldwide has eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or 11 million litres of gasoline used to produce PET plastic bottles. Currently, The Coca-Cola Company is working to further technology so other plant materials can be used in future PlantBottle packaging. The ultimate long-term goal is to turn waste into a resource, resulting in a carbon neutral, 100 percent renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable.


Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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