Throughout the 1980s, the Cola Wars provided plenty of entertainment, kept marketing companies profitable and divided families, playgrounds and workplaces between “team Pepsi” and “team Coke.” I remember refusing to “dine in” at fast food restaurants that didn’t carry my favorite soft drink brand. Although both sides achieved a relative détente by the nineties the new century opened a new front in the simmering conflict. The outcome, however, could be far more positive than tooth decay and rising obesity rates.
In 2009 Coca-Cola debuted PlantBottle, a PET plastic bottle made from 30% plant-based material (sugar cane). Last month, Pepsi announced a pilot program using a 100% bioplastic PET bottle, made from—according to this press release—switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. Though described as identical to the look, feel and performance of traditional petroleum-based PET, the bottles may not appear in local grocery stores for a while since the pilot program doesn’t begin until 2012.
In a season of “green fatigue” where every manufacturer or service provider is stridently promoting sometimes questionable environmental credibility it’s encouraging to find simple truths being recognized. The truth is that changing our ideas concerning the ingredients of our “stuff” can have far-reaching, positive impact on our planet.
PS: Here's a tangental, but somewhat Pepsi-related development:
We watched with disappointment and some head-shaking amusement, the failure of a biodegradable SunChips bag in the U.S. market. Now SunChips, whose parent company is PepsiCo, has unveiled a new—quieter—compostable bag for its snacks. We always believed in you, SunChips!