Greener for Good

Beverage companies are all in on creating 100 percent recyclable packaging.

Recycle icon over two green leaves
Some big names are developing biodegradable bottles. / dmitrynew ©

The invention of plastic bottles ranks among the greatest environmental disasters in history. But people are moving away from plastic, and the market is reacting. According to Food Dive, Bacardi, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, PepsiCo, and others are increasingly using 100 percent biodegradable plastic made from plant-based oils. The packaging biodegrades within 18 months in compost, soil, freshwater, and seawater, and does not leave microplastics behind. Bacardi has committed to using only plant-based plastic by 2023, and going plastic-free by 2030. (That alone will eliminate 80 million plastic bottles per year.) Diageo and PepsiCo are also developing the first paper-based bottles (look for Johnnie Walker to be sold in the new packaging starting in early 2021). Although the science is tricky, the goal is to create environmentally friendly plastic that mimics the qualities of traditional petroleum-based products. The push is so great that many companies plan to make their research available to all to accelerate the movement and meet deadlines. These green products will come with additional costs, of course, but consumers have already demonstrated they are changing their buying habits based on sustainability efforts.

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