In 2012, PepsiCo will begin distributing products in 100% plant-based plastic bottles. The company says the bottle is the first of its kind. Coca Cola currently has a 30% plant-based bottle.
Traditional polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is a common type of plastic made using fossil fuels. The plant-based PET plastic—which PepsiCo says is identical to traditional PET in appearance, feel, and function—is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks, and other materials using technology that took several years to perfect. The plant-based plastic bottle, along with PepsiCo’s recent efforts to improve the efficiency of other products’ packaging, will reduce the company’s environmental impact. It is not expected to cost much more than traditional plastic.
The plant-based bottle could impact the plastic packaging world and type of resources spent to supply it. PET is used in a variety of different food packages, including beverage bottles. PepsiCo currently uses traditional PET in 11 of its most popular beverage brands.
However, consumers should be aware that this bottle is NOT compostable OR biodegradable and should be treated like any other empty PET bottle. When PepsiCo starts rolling out the plant-based bottles, consumers should toss the finished bottles into the recycling bin, not the composting bin.
CAW continues to work on increasing beverage container recycling, which reached 82% in 2009. Please visit our website for more information.
Read the article from USA Today on the bottle here.