In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, PepsiCo
has announced the creation of the world’s first 100 percent plant-based plastic PET bottle
, sourced from renewable resources.
PepsiCo’s new PET bottles are made from biomaterials such as switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. What makes this so special is the fact that biomaterials like pine bark and corn husks are considered waste products in many regards, and so PepsiCo’s bioplastic
apparently does not compete with food supplies as do other bioplastics derived from corn, potatoes and other foods. PepsiCo has plans to expand the list of renewable resources for making their bioplastic PET bottles to orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its food business.
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"This breakthrough innovation is a transformational development for PepsiCo and the beverage industry, and a direct result of our commitment to research and development," said 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."
PepsiCo is planning to release a pilot program of the plant-based PET bottles by 2012. If the pilot run proves successful, the company will begin commercial implementation of the bottles.
The innovation of such a transformative PET bottle is being applauded by environmental groups, such as As You Sow, a corporate watchdog organization based in San Francisco.
Considering the size of PepsiCo’s operations—spanning most every country across the globe—the incorporation of 100 percent plant-based PET bottles into the company’s business model will have a dramatic impact on reducing fossil-fuel consumption, since traditional plastic PET bottles are petroleum-based. Kudos to PepsiCo for this breakthrough innovation. Hopefully, the company will move to share this technology in an effort to reduce the footprint of other companies’ bottling operations as well; however, boasting 100 percent plant-based PET bottles will likely give the company a competitive edge over competitors like Coca-Cola, especially with environmentally-minded consumers.