Using plant-based, fully renewable resources, the company plans to manufacture a beverage container with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
For years, scientists and inventors have offered up futuristic alternatives to the resource-intensive plastic packaging clogging up our landfills and recycling bins. And for just as many years, practical environmentalists have said that these designs are all well and good, but until the day they’re used in mainstream commercial production, their impact will be minuscule.
It appears that day may not be as far away as we thought.
PepsiCo recently announced it has developed the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based fully renewable resources. The innovative packaging is made from bio-based raw materials, including switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. In the future, the company expects to broaden the renewable sources used to create the “green” bottle to include orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business.
Combining biological and chemical processes, PepsiCo has identified methods to create a molecular structure that is identical to petroleum-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which results in a bottle that looks, feels and protects its product identically to existing PET beverage containers, but without all the nasty side-effects.