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The Coca Cola Company and the new PlantBottle® packaging: sustainability comes from sugarcane!

Beginning April 4, 2011 the first 100 percent recyclable beverage packages made with plants are readily available to people across the U.S. If you want to enjoy the fresh taste of DASANI, or a nourishing Odwalla beverage in a more environmentally responsible package made from plants, now you can. There’s no more waiting.

PlantBottle® packaging for both brands was developed with the planet in mind by PlantBottle® Packaging Platform, The Coca Cola Company.  Single-serve Odwalla packages are made from up to 100 percent plant-based materials with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. PET bottles for DASANI are made with up to 30 percent plant-based materials.

“It’s our goal to make traditional plastic bottles a thing of the past and ensure that every beverage we produce is available in 100 percent plant-based, fully recyclable packaging,” said Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle® Packaging Platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “The national launch of DASANI PlantBottle® packaging represents an important step toward reducing our carbon footprint, and the up to 100 percent plant-based, recyclable packaging used for Odwalla is the first of its kind in the beverage industry.”

Traditional PET bottles are made from petroleum and other nonrenewable fossil fuels. Incorporating a blend of petroleum-based materials with up to 30 percent plant-based materials allows PlantBottle® packaging for DASANI to reduce potential intrinsic carbon dioxide emissions when compared with PET plastic bottles

“DASANI is designed to make a difference by offering a better designed package for a more sustainable future,” said John Roddey, Vice President and General Manager, Water, Tea and Coffee, Coca-Cola North America. “Because DASANI PlantBottle® packaging is up to 30 percent made from plants and still 100 percent recyclable, it was designed with the planet in mind by helping to reduce the impact of our packaging on the environment.”

The plant-based materials for both DASANI and Odwalla PlantBottle® packaging are produced through a process that turns sugarcane into a key component for PET and HDPE plastic. Currently, PlantBottle® packaging is made using sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, the only source widely recognized globally for its unique environmental and social performance. Brazilian sugarcane is primarily rain fed and industrially grown on abundant, arable land using organic fertilizers. The plantations from which PlantBottle materials are sourced are located far away from Amazon rain forests, and their impact on biodiversity is reduced thanks to advanced farming practices and sound public policy.

Unlike other plant-based plastics, PlantBottle® packaging is entirely recyclable and can be processed through existing systems. This ensures PlantBottle® packaging can be repeatedly used, recycled and reused. In addition, there are no differences in shelf life, weight, composition or appearance between traditional PET plastic bottles and PlantBottle® plastic bottles.

In late 2009, PlantBottle® packaging was launched in the western U.S. and eight other markets around the world. To date, PlantBottle® packaging is estimated to have eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or three million gallons of gasoline used to produce PET plastic bottles. Currently, The Coca-Cola Company is working to further technology so other plant materials can be used in future PlantBottle® packaging. The ultimate long-term goal is to turn waste into a resource, resulting in a carbon neutral, 100 percent renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable.

“Several approaches to a PET package made entirely from plants have been successfully demonstrated in laboratory testing. We’re working to advance this breakthrough science to ensure it is commercially viable,” said Vitters. “PlantBottle® packaging means only good things for everybody. We welcome others in the industry joining us in advancing the science behind packaging made from plants.”

The technology used to make PlantBottle® packaging already has been adopted by Heinz, which recently announced it will begin packaging its ketchup using that technology this summer under license from The Coca-Cola Company.

The rollout of PlantBottle® packaging for DASANI will be supported by a national television spot breaking in April. Additional executions will include enhanced packaging graphics, as well as out-of-home, print, digital and point-of sale-advertising to build awareness for PlantBottle® packaging. Odwalla’s marketing program includes coupons, print advertising, digital programs and new labeling Point-of-sale materials for in-store displays will feature attention-grabbing messages such as “Paper or Plastic? Try Plant!” (Source: Businesswire)