The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

SodaStream attacks plastic, but is it fair?

By Don Loepp | January 3, 2013 06:00 am ET

Around the holidays, I noticed TV ads for SodaStream International Ltd. -- the company that makes machines that allow consumers to make carbonated soft drinks at home.

The ads, in part, play up SodaStream's supposed environmental benefits, namely that they reduce the use of PET bottles.

But is that criticism fair -- or is this a case of greenwashing?

A former colleague sent me a note recently that prompted me to take a closer look at the issue.

He pointed out that the "environmental report" on SodaStream's website focuses only on a reduction in the number of PET bottles used -- it does not compare the total environmental impact of SodaStream vs. supermarket-purchased soft drinks.

The company assumes that reducing PET consumption -- and the cost of shipping the bottles full of soda -- outweighs the environmental impact of its machine, including the 90 gas canisters it will use over its lifetime.

However, the company hasn't done any research -- like a lifecycle analysis -- to prove the advantage.

In the United Kingdom, SodaStream has been banned from running the "Set the bubbles free" TV ads. (see "SodaStream turns to print ads to criticize plastic waste")

That's not the case in the United States, however. In fact, SodaStream is planning an ad on this year's Super Bowl broadcast slated to run in the fourth quarter, "when people are most likely to notice the growing piles of bottles and cans strewn about the room and filling up their trash."

Will this have any real impact on public attitudes about plastics? I'm tempted to say no -- America's love affair with carbonated soft drinks is pretty entrenched.

But remember that in 2012, we saw a town ban PET water bottles ("Concord bottle ban OK'd"). Environmentalists and politicians in places like San Francisco are already talking about taking similar action.

With companies like SodaStream urging on the critics, consumers may need to be reminded of PET's strong recycling record.


Recent Blog Posts

Coal-to-olefins may not be an immediate threat   July 31, 2014 10:56 am ET
Who are the fastest growing pipe, profile and tubing extruders?   July 28, 2014 3:09 pm ET
Finding the important economic indicators   July 24, 2014 10:13 am ET
Plastics industry blasted for stance in green building debate   July 22, 2014 2:45 pm ET
'Genericide' and plastic product trademarks   July 21, 2014 10:52 am ET
Great idea: Family Day at the factory   July 10, 2014 12:14 pm ET

Comments

SodaStream attacks plastic, but is it fair?

By Don Loepp

Published: January 3, 2013 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 17, 2013 12:24 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events