CocaCola’s New PlantBottle Isn’t Actually 100% Plant


CocaCola’s PlantBottle has supposedly achieved full percentage of plant material, but actually it kind of hasn’t.


For the first time in history, a 100% plant bottle has been produced. From beginning to end — no concept, full product. Recyclable, renewable, and the like. In the words of CocaCola, this packaging “pushes the boundaries of sustainable innovation”. But we aren’t so hyped up about it, because, well, it doesn’t… yet.

CocaCola themselves clarified the PlantBottle’s current limitations some years ago at their own FAQ:  the bottles were being made from up to 30% plant-based materials, but the other 70% of the PET was still made from traditional sources. And it still is, (and the bottles still are), no matter how cool it looks. CocaCola’s goal was “a bottle we can all feel good about”, (notice the singular), and that’s what they’ve come up with at Milan: a single bottle. A working prototype, but still.

PlantBottle Prototype

Good news are good news, nevertheless: the new 100% PlantBottle has been proven to be possible, the current 30% version still manages to perform well enough without sacrificing performance or recyclability, (which was his initial objective), and both of them have a lighter footprint on the planet than their next of kin. Nancy Quan, Global Research and Development Officer, framed the achievement as a “pioneering milestone (…) to maximize game-changing technology”. And, to be honest, that’s much more interesting than the bottle itself, because the 100% version does play a role in both the corporation and the nation’s progress towards sustainability.

The Milan 100% PlantBottle may be a little piece of recycled plastic, but it does tell something about the current efforts of big companies. Some time ago, SeaWorld borrowed CocaCola’s PlantBottle packaging technology and debuted the first refillable plant-based plastic cup. Andrew Ngo., SeaWorld VP of Culinary Operations, said that “working together, our two companies are using our resources and reach to inspire people to make a difference”. And, well — they are!


“Our ultimate goal is a carbon neutral, 100% renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable – a bottle we can all feel good about.”


Time ago, no one would’ve though about two companies that big making that step by themselves. It was unthinkable. Impossible. But it’s been happening over the last few years: the greatest companies are driving the biggest force towards eco-responsibility there’s been in humankind’s history. And that’s incredible.