Plastic Bottles from plants: Step Forward or Spin Marketing?

Coca Cola keeps saying it plans to increase the amount of plant fiber in its Dasani PlantBottle

It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the disposable plastic water bottles that Americans buy each year. Coca-Cola’s brands Dasani and Odwalla claim to have a solution: plant-derived plastic, also known as bioplastic. Sierra Club Green Home decided to find out how bioplastic bottles compare to conventional plastic bottles in terms of environmental effects.

To learn more about the efforts Coca Cola and PepsiCo are making towards a more sustainable plastic bottle – and who’s going all out versus some possible greenwashing – see http://bit.ly/zc7zpZ.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing the article Debra. The Coke “Plant Bottle” is a bit of both Hype and Forward movement. We definately need to move toward both sustainable and renewable sourcing for our materials, and the bottle does step this direction with the renewability percentage. There is some debate regardign the actual percentage of renewability when you begin to look at the chemistry, but regardless it is a step forward. On the sustainability side, it is unclear at this point if the sugar cane is sustainably grown and what the actual footprint of the sugar cane is. Many renewable sources usse more fossil fuels and have more detriment to the environment than traditional petro-based materials.

    The real hype is that most consumers believe the bottle is also biodegradable. This is completely false and although Coke knows this is the perception (per my conversations with high level Coke personnel), they are choosing not to clarify or educate the general public. It should always be considered Hype when a company has a marketing campaign that they know creates false perceptions but continue the campaign anyway.

    • Teresa:

      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you on these very important points. It’s important for consumers to educate themselves beyond the “hype” and for companies like Coca Cola to know that we expect better from them when it comes to green offerings.

  2. It is unfortunate that so much misperception is created by companies. New Ocean Blue (www.newoceanblue.org) is working toward educating the public about the misinformation that is floating around. One thing that I have noticed though is that there is a lot of focus on the actual bottles. However, the bottle caps actually create a huge issue for wildlife because they see it as food. Ideally, I would like to see a completely biodegradable bottle AND cap that will biodegrade without having to put it through a special process and without emitting toxic chemicals.

    • Good thought. I agree. Most people don’t know that bottle caps CAN be recycled – through either Aveda’s take back at select hair salons or through Preserve’s Gimme 5 program. So easily 98 percent of them wind up in landfills. I’d love to see a better, more fully adopted solution to this problem.

      Thanks for your idea – and for enjoying my blog!

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