On April 4th, the Coca-cola company launched their new “Plant Bottle”, hailed as the first 100% recyclable plant based bottle. The bottles are made with a 70/30 blend of HDPE and plant based plastics (Odwalla), or a PET and plant based plastics (Dasani). I heard Scott Vitters of Coke talk about this innovation at Opportunity Green last year, and based on the Q&A that day, these bottles can be mixed in and recycled along with traditional curbside recycling – a big improvement from some of the early bio-plastics which gummed up recycling equipment and were hard for consumers to manage.
The new “PlantBottle” is not biodegradable however. Which means that if it makes it’s way into storm sewers, streams and ultimately the Pacific Gyre and other ocean flotillas, it is destined to stay there indefinitely. There is a growing interest in biodegradable plastics that would not only tap into alternative, cheap feedstock for making plastic, but would also help fix this enormous unintended consequence of single use plastics. Here are two of our favorites.
Micromidas turns waste water treatment sludge (yes, that is fancy words for poop) into plastic that is clean, green and biodegradable. And Cyclewood Plastics makes shopping bags that bio-degrade in 150 days in the elements.
Pretty cool, huh!