It seems in the competition between soda giants Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, Pepsi has just taken the lead — especially when it comes to sustainability measures.PepsiCo announced Tuesday the beverage company has developed the world’s first PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources.What’s more, the bottle — made up of 100 percent agricultural waste — can also be placed back in existing recycling systems.Coca-Cola Co.’s Plant Bottle, which was unveiled in 2009, uses only 30 percent plant-based materials.”This breakthrough innovation is a transformational development for PepsiCo and the beverage industry, and a direct result of our commitment to research and development,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.”PepsiCo is in a unique position, as one of the world’s largest food and beverage businesses, to ultimately source agricultural byproducts from our foods business to manufacture a more environmentally-preferable bottle for our beverages business — a sustainable business model that we believe brings to life the essence of Performance with Purpose.” Stating they have “cracked the code” on the biological and chemical processes, the current bottle is made from bio-based raw materials — including switch grass, pine bark, and corn husks. In the future, the company expects to create the “green” bottle to include orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls, and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business.The molecular structure of the new bottle is identical to petroleum-based PET, resulting in a bottle that looks, feels, and protects its product identically to existing PET beverage containers.PepsiCo lists these examples of other recent environmental innovations under their corporate umbrella:
- SunChips developing the world’s first fully compostable bag and using solar power at the Modesto manufacturing facility to take some of the plant off the electrical grid
- Light-weighting Aquafina’s bottles with the introduction of the Eco-Fina bottle in 2009, the lightest bottle of its size among U.S. bottled water brands
- Naked Juice transitioning to a 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottle with the introduction of its reNEWabottle™ — the first beverage distributed nationally in the United States — to do so
- Achieving “positive water balance” in India in 2009; through direct seeding initiatives, the company replenished nearly six billion liters of water across India, exceeding the total intake of approximately five billion liters of water by its manufacturing facilities
- Introducing the Dream Machine recycling initiative, to provide greater access to on-the-go recycling receptacles and help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate from 34 percent to 50 percent, by 2018
- Launching a groundbreaking pilot program using low-carbon fertilizers that drastically reduce Tropicana’s lifecycle carbon footprint
- Walkers becoming the first company in the world to display a carbon reduction logo on a consumer product — representing a commitment to become more sustainable and transparent
PepsiCo will pilot production of the new bottle in 2012.
Upon successful completion of the pilot, the company intends to move directly to full-scale commercialization.
This just might be the beginning of the end for the traditional plastic bottle…
Until Next Time,