Coca-Cola's new PlantBottle -- a PET bottle made in-part from plant feedstocks -- is about to hit the store shelves. Scott Vitters, Coke's global head of sustainable packaging, gave an interview about the material to Marc Gunther, a senior writer for GreenBiz.com. Here are a few of the highlights:
- The PET resin in the bottles is made from 30 percent plant-based material, and Coke's R&D teams are to make the remaining 70 percent from renewable sources, too.
- The material currently is made from sugar cane and molasses, a byproduct of the sugar production process, from Brazil. Vitters said the material is "not perfect, but the commitment from the Brazilian government, the growers down there ... enabled us to be able to get started with this process, as we look toward a long-term vision of using plant waste material."
- The company has proven in the lab that it is technically feasible to make bottles from 100 percent plant-based resin.
- The PlantBottle resin costs more than conventional PET, but for now the company is not charging customers a premium price. Eventually, the company expects to bring down the cost of the plant-based resin.