The Coca-Cola Company recently took the first steps towards what CEO Muhlar Kent said was their, “vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100 percent recyclable and renewable.”
Kent was referring to the company’s new PlantBottle due out sometime later this year in select markets holding their Dasani brand bottled water and sparking brands. Coke’s Vitaminwater is expected to follow – being packaged in the PlantBottle sometime next year.
The PlantBottle is currently made through an innovative process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic.
Manufacturing the new plastic bottle is more environmentally efficient as well. A life-cycle analysis conducted by Imperial College London indicates the PlantBottle with 30 percent plant-based material reduces carbon emissions by up to 25 percent, compared with petroleum-based PET.
According to the company, another advantage to the PlantBottle is that, unlike other plant-based plastics, it can be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating traditional PET.
Consumers can identify the innovative bottles through on-package messages and in-store point of sale displays. Web-based communications will also highlight the bottles’ environmental benefits.
Coca Cola faces a challenge with its new bottle concept from the recycling industry who have long been concerned about contamination from bio and other types of plastics. Industry groups are concerned the current recycling system in the US is not equipped to adequately handle bio plastics.