Manufacturing Savvy

That Bottle Used to Be A Plant

Coca Cola's new bottles are composed of a new PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastic that was once a plant.

This is the next generation of PET that is now 100% recyclable with a smaller carbon footprint, when measured from the growing of the plant materials through to the production of the resin, that the traditional PET.

PlantBottle packaging is currently made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic. The sugar cane being used comes from predominantly rain-fed crops that were processed into ethanol, not refined sugar.

The company is aiming to eventually use non-food, plant-based waste, such as wood chips or wheat stalks, to produce recyclable PET plastic bottles.

"Coca-Cola is currently sourcing raw materials for its PlantBottle from suppliers in Brazil, where third parties have verified that best-in-class agricultural practices are the norm," said Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Market Transformation for WWF.

Coca-Cola has set a goal of producing 2 billion of these special PET plastic bottles by the end of 2010.

The PlantBottle packaging in now available in Denmark and beginning next month will be available in Western Canada (just in time for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.)
It will also show up in select markets in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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