Coca-Cola Unveils Plant-Based Plastic Bottle

As thoroughly addicted passionate consumers of aspartame-laden Diet Coke, we were surprised to learn that sugarcane and molasses may soon be showing up in our beverage of choice—in the bottle, that is. Later this year, the Coca-Cola Company will begin piloting the “PlantBottle,” a new plastic container that makes petroleum-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate, if you want to get technical) plastic bottles look like that ozone-destroying hairspray now available only in Mexico’s more remote mini-marts.

The fully recyclable PlantBottle is made through a process that converts byproducts of sugar production—the aforementioned sugar cane and molasses—into a component for PET plastic. Researchers at Imperial College London found that the new bottle, which contains 30% plant-based material, reduces carbon emissions by up to 25%, compared with petroleum-based PET. It can also be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating traditional PET. The first Coca-Cola brands to be PlantBottled will be Dasani and vitaminwater. Look for “on-package messages and in-store point of sale displays” to debut later this year, or simply lick the bottle of any Coke product and see if you detect a hint of molasses.