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Coca-Cola using plants to make new bottles

Is Coca-Cola going green?

Is Coca-Cola going green? Photo Credit: Handout

Coke's new bottles will be made partially from plants, be fully recyclable, and, compared with 100 % PET (petroleum-based) bottles, will generate less carbon emissions and rely less on nonrenewable resources, according to a company news release. But the "PlantBottle" still appears to contain 70 % PET materials, so, while it's a step in the right direction, I'm not sure it's revolutionary.

"The 'PlantBottle™' is a significant development in sustainable packaging innovation," according to company chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent.  "It builds on our legacy of environmental ingenuity and sets the course for us to realize our vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100 percent recyclable and renewable."

The new bottle is made of 30 percent sugar using a process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic. I give the company kudos for the effort, and for "exploring the use of other plant materials for future generations of the "PlantBottle™," especially since the manufacturing process is said to reduce carbon emission by up to 25 percent, compared to petroleum-based PET. And, according to the company, unlike other plant-based plastics, PlantBottles can be "processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating traditional PET...[and] can be used again and again."

The bottle is being used with Dasani products in test markets and will debut with VitaminWater later this year.

This is all well and good, but if if the company would just use that sugar cane instead of high fructose corn syrup to sweeten its soda, then I'd really be happy.

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