PepsiCo unveiled today their latest step toward a greener planet--a 100 percent renewable PET plastic bottle. The new bottle is made entirely from plant-based materials projected to revolutionize the bottling industry. According to a press release, Pepsi has already made a name for itself not only as a consumer giant but also as an innovator and leader in environmental sustainability, and this is just one more feather in the company's hat. The company hopes the advancement will enable it to manufacture bottles that leave behind a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
In an attempt to reinforce Pepsi's "Power of One" advantage, the company's "green" bottle is not only 100 percent recyclable but is also made from "bio-based" materials such as switch grass, pine bark, and corn husks, and the company also hopes to broaden those sources to include orange and potato peels, oat hulls, and other byproducts of agriculture derived from its own food business.
PepsiCo announces a new bio-based, 100% recycleable bottle: Image via Inhabitat.com
Through a combination of chemical and biological processes, PepsiCo identified ways to develop a molecular structure identical to petroleum-based PET. The result is a bottle that looks and feels like the existing container. What's more, the new bottle functions just as efficiently as the former.
PepsiCo is more than a consumer giant: They're also a leader in green pursuits
"This breakthrough innovation is a transformational development for PepsiCo and the beverage industry, and a direct result of our commitment to research and development," contended 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."
We won't be seeing these bottles piloted on shelves until 2012, but after successful completion of the pilot, the company will move immediately to full-scale commercialization. However, the pilot is promising one considering PepsiCo's other green endeavors. The company saw to it that SunChips began using the world's first fully compostable bag (it's that super loud one), and solar power is used at the Modesto manufacturing facility where the bags are created. Aquafina's bottles have been light-weighted through the 2009 introduction of the "Eco-Fina" bottle, the lightest bottle of its size. NAKED juice began using the "ReNEWabottle," a 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottle. And these are just a few of PepsiCo's many initiatives to go green.
The new bottle is just one among many green advancements PepsiCo has made recently
"As You Sow," a San Francisco-based foundation that promotes corporate social responsibility via shareholder engagement, applauds the recent efforts of PepsiCo. And As You Sow's Senior Program Director Conrad Mackerron said, "By reducing reliance on petroleum-based materials and using its own agricultural scraps as feedstock for new bottles, this advancement should deliver a doublewin for the environment and PepsiCo."
Sources: PepsiCo and Inhabitat