PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. has developed a bottle made entirely from plant-based material. The bottle is made using raw materials such as switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. In the future, the company said it may use byproducts from its food businesses such as orange peels, potato peels and oat hulls to manufacture the new bottle.
The company said by combining biological and chemical processes it has identified methods to create molecular structure that is identical to petroleum-based terephthalate (PET), which results in a bottle that looks, feels and protects a product identically to existing PET beverage containers. The process eliminates the need to use petroleum. The company plans to initiate pilot production of the new bottle in 2012.
“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 Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer. “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.”
In 2009, The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, introduced its PlantBottle, which is partially made from renewable resources. The bottle is made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses into a component used to manufacture PET plastic. The bottle is made with 30% plant-based material.
This past month, during the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Fla., the Coca-Cola Co. and the H.J. Heinz Co. announced that Heinz will begin packaging its ketchup this year using Coke’s PlantBottle technology. The pact marked the first time Coke has allowed another company to use the technology.