On Tuesday, PepsiCo Inc. revealed a new bottle made completely of plant material, reducing their carbon footprint. Also beating competitor Coca-Cola, whom has bottles made with only 30 percent of plant-based material and who also estimated it would be several years before they had a 100 percent plant bottle.
Senior vice president of advanced research at PepsiCo, Rocco Papalia says
the new bottle looks and feels like their current bottles. The bottle is made from cornhusks, switch grass, pine bark, and Pepsi plans to also use potato scraps, orange peels, oat hulls, and other leftovers from its food business.
“We’ve cracked the code,” Papalia said.
PepsiCo plans to test the product in 2012 in a few hundred thousand bottles and once the company is confident that they can produce the bottle at that scale they will convert all of their products over.
A senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council and director of its waste management project, Allen Hershkowitz said, “This is the beginning of the end of petroleum-based plastics. When you have a company of this size making a commitment to a plant-based plastic, the market is going to respond.”
PET’s (plant based plastics) are the ideal material because they are lightweight and shatter-resistant, recyclable, and they don’t affect drink flavors. Customary PET plastic is made using fossil fuels like petroleum; by using all plant material companies then reduce their environmental impact.
The actual cost of research and design of the new bottle wasn’t released by PepsiCo but Papalia said it is in the millions of dollars.