Some pretty cool news on the eco-friendly front: Pepsi announced earlier this week that have “cracked the code” – they’ve managed to create a PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant material! We’re used to having recycled plastic tote bags, but hearing of recyclable bottles as promos is less common.
The new bottles, which Pepsi claims will drastically reduce their carbon footprint, are made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks, and other plant materials. They also plan to use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps, and other leftovers from their food business to manufacture the bottles. Eco-friendly promotional products are a opportunity for brands to promote their company while helping to save the environment.
Rocco Papalia, senior vice president of advanced research at PepsiCo, seems genuinely excited about the new bottles, which look and feel exactly like the current non-plant plastic bottles. “It’s a beautiful thing to behold,” he said. “It’s indistinguishable.”
Pepsi plans to test the new bottles in 2012 production runs of a few hundred thousand. Once they are confident that they can produce bottles at large scale, they’ll ramp up their efforts and replace as many as a billion bottles per year with the eco-friendlier version.
To put things in perspective, Coca-Cola uses a bottle made with 30% plant materials, and recently claimed that a 100% plant-based bottle would not be commercially viable for years.
And it’s not just Pepsi people who are excited about the new technology.
Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council and director of its waste management project had this to say: “This is the beginning of the end of petroleum-based plastics. When you have a company of this size making a commitment to a plant-based plastic, the market is going to respond.”
Really exciting news here, and one that will eventually have direct impact on the promotional products industry. We’re eagerly looking forward to the day when we can provide you with 100% plant-based PET bottles, and we’ll keep you updated on the technology as it matures and develops!