Plastic bottles are about the farthest thing away from plants, but Coca-Cola found a way to make it possible. First they did it with the company’s bottled water label, Dasani. Now, Coke is expanding its PlantBottle line to soda products in select southern U.S. cities.
The PlantBottle reduces the use of petroleum-based products when compared to traditional plastic bottles by using 30 percent plant-based materials. Normally, plastic bottles are made from two ingredients – purified terephthalic acid (PET) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). While the PlantBottle still uses PET, the bottle’s MEG is created using sugarcane – cutting its use of fossil fuels.
In select markets, that is. Atlanta, Birmingham and Nashville are the first cities to be introduced to the 12.5, 16 and 20-ounce PlantBottles, thanks to their proximity to Coke’s Atlanta bottle manufacturing plant. Flavors available in the PlantBottle include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Coke Zero and Mello Yello.
While the packaging still might not be the ideal biodegradable solution, the use of PET means the bottle is still 100 percent recyclable.
“We are working with our partners to crack the code on plant-based… PTA, which accounts for the other 70 percent of PET,” Coca-Cola says on their website. “This will involve breakthrough science, but we’ve got some of the smartest minds in the field focused on it today.”
Last year, Coca-Cola rival Pepsi introduced a 100 percent plant-based bottle, which includes materials like switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. Eventually, PepsiCo hopes to use leftover byproducts from its food lines like Tostitos, Ruffles, Fritos and more.
Coke aims to use bottles made from 100 percent plant-based materials in all of its packaging by 2020.