Coke’s PlantBottle, by any other name . . .

PlantBottleCoca Cola announced late last week that they will be introducing a “new plastic bottle made partially from plants.” A super idea but that name  .  .  .  ouch.

The recyclable/renewable aspects aside, and I sincerely applaud Coke for the effort, how do you feel about drinking vitaminwater out of a PlantBottle?

As Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company says in the press release,  “It builds on our legacy of environmental ingenuity and sets the course for us to realize our vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100 percent recyclable and renewable.”

Never mind the name, the really good news is that the bottle is apparently made from 30% plant based material, and it can be processed in traditional PET recycling facilities. The life-cycle analysis done by Imperial College London indicates that it reduces carbon emissions by 25 percent.  

Given Coke’s volume that’s a lot of carbon. By one estimate in 2000 by Dr. Bill Sheehan, network coordinator for the GrassRoots Recycling Network, “Coke produced more than 21 billion plastic bottles” between 1995 and 2000.

The plan, like that announced in late April by Frito Lay with their biodegradable snack chip bags, is to phase this bottle in gradually during the next couple years, with Dasani and vitaminwater being the first brands to use the new bottle.

Now this is a Coke and Pepsi war we all benefit from! 


The illustration above is by Stephanie Carter from


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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One Response to Coke’s PlantBottle, by any other name . . .

  1. Pingback: Our Top 10 List of Packaging Stories for 2009 « The Package Unseen

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