PepsiCo unveiled a breakthrough in bottle technology with the announcement of the world’s first petroleum-free plastic bottle in an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint by piloting production of the new bottle in 2012. The snack and soft drinks company will use raw materials such as switch grass, pine bark and corn husks, and has identified methods to create a molecular structure that is identical to polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which is the plastic material used to produce a majority of bottles. The race to create a petroleum-free bottle was triggered in 2009 when Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola unveiled a bottle that was 30 percent plant-based. Environmentalists have been critical of petroleum-based plastic because of their high carbon emissions and for being slow to biodegrade.
Pepsi said the new bottle will eventually allow for by-products from its food businesses, including potato peels from chips and orange peels from juice to be recycled into bottles. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi adds the company will ultimately have “a sustainable business model that we believe brings to life the essence of Performance with Purpose.”