The new bottle is made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials. The process involves turning sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component of PET plastic.
“The “PlantBottle” is a significant development in sustainable packaging innovation,” says Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “It builds on our legacy of environmental ingenuity and sets the course for us to realize our vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100 percent recyclable and renewable.”
The new bottles will be piloted with Dasani later this year and with Vitaminwater in 2010. The bottles will be identified with on-label messages and in-store displays so consumers know they are purchasing the plant-based bottles.
A life-cycle analysis conducted by the Imperial College London indicates the “PlantBottle” consisting of 30 percent plant-based materials will reduce carbon emissions by up to 25 percent, in comparison with traditional PET plastic bottles.
As reported by The Coca-Cola Company, unlike some other plant-based plastics, the “PlantBottle” can be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating the tradition PET stream. The recycling of plant-based plastics has been an issue of concern among the plastic manufacturing and recycling industries as many believe improved research and design is needed to make bioplastic recycling feasible.