Coca-Cola's New PlantBottle Sows Path to Greener Packaging
In a podcast interview with GreenBiz.com Senior Writer Marc Gunther, Scott Vitters, the Coca-Cola Company's global head of sustainable packaging, takes the wraps off the company's new PlantBottle, a recyclable PET plastic container made partially from plants. (Gunther's blog on the PlantBottle's development is available at GreenBiz.com.)
Marc Gunther: This is Marc Gunther with GreenBiz.com. I'm joined by Scott Vitters. Scott is the global head of sustainable packaging for the Coca-Cola Company. We're here to talk about the global launch of something called the PlantBottle. Scott, let me start by just asking you what is the PlantBottle? What is its significance?
Scott Vitters: Well, thanks, Marc. It's great to be here. We are really excited to be continuing our legacy of enhancing and having a commitment to enhance the sustainability of our packaging, this next major step, with the debut of PlantBottle. PlantBottle is our first generation recyclable PT plastic made partially from plants.
MG: So it's a PET bottle. That means it's similar to the bottles we're all drinking beverages out of today. Correct?
SV: It is exactly the same, because it is PET. Same quality in terms of holding carbonation or a still water beverage. Same recyclability and same value in terms of being recycled and, importantly for our business as well, is it's equally as efficient in terms of using a material itself. I think that's the real breakthrough here, Marc, is that a lot of folks have been looking at plant-based plastics. Importantly, what we were able to do is to find a material, or be able to make a material, that produces the exact same plastic that we use today, so maintaining all that's been good with the PET container, but with a focus on continuing to make it even better environmentally.