If you're wondering how environmentalists feel about Coca-Cola Co.'s PlantBottle -- PET and HDPE containers made in-part from bio-based raw materials ... well, let's say it's not completely positive. The Earth Resource Foundation sent a news release today after some of them received an invitation to an Earth Day event to launch Coke's Dasani-brand bottled water in a PET PlantBottle. The release, titled "No Glee from Environmentalists for Coca-Cola 'PlantBottle'," takes the company to task. Much of the critcism could apply to any bottled water manufacturer, but a few of the points are specific to the PlantBottle material:
We Regret that despite your green leaf logo, your "plant bottle" is still just a PET plastic bottle and is not biodegradable or compostable on land or at sea. We Regret that Coca-Cola will not be collecting and recycling their own PET "plant bottles," and that only approximately 20.9% percent of PET bottles are "recycled" (mostly into lower grade material that is not used in bottles again) in America. The remainder, at over 20 billion bottles, last forever in our landfills or in our environment, including our oceans. We also regret that Coca-Cola failed to achieve it's own pledge of using at least 10% recycled content in PET bottles and has just announced the shut down of it's PET recycling joint venture in South Carolina. We Regret that Coca-Cola is substituting its chemical-laden petroleum plastic bottle with a chemical-laden petroleum and plant plastic bottle. We Regret that estrogenic compounds in your PET "plant bottle" may leach into the water and impair human health and reproduction.The release is in the form of a petition, and is signed by a number of leaders of California-based environmental groups. While the petition does not link to Plastics News, we are the source of the information about Coke's recycling plant in South Carolina. For that story, check out this news story (which was updated today), as well as this interview with Coke's Scott Vitters.