Coke’s New PlantBottle

Coca Cola Unveils New PlantBottleJust in time for the winter Olympics in Vancouver, Coke is releasing its new “PlantBottle” which is comprised of 30% plant based materials (sugar cane) and 70% petroleum based. After testing the new PlantBottle last month in Copenhagen and in other select markets, Coke now plans on packaging all of its products in the new PlantBottle by the end of 2010. In addition to changing to renewable materials, Coke’s new plastic bottles create 25% less carbon during the manufacturing process. This according to a Coke commissioned study performed by the London Imperial College.

The Clean Air Council estimates that 21.9 billion plastic bottles are thrown out every year. So will the new PlantBottle make a difference? I’m sure slightly because Coca Cola is responsible for producing over 2 billion plastic bottles per year. We have to remember that this is just a start and one can hope that the new packaging and accompanying advertising campaign will encourage drinkers of Coke products to recycle their bottles more than they have been.

It would be easy for Jubbling to bash Coke and label this whole thing as greenwashing but it is a step in the right direction and should be encouraged. Now, if Coca Cola could only get the sugar cane used in manufacturing the bottles to somehow leach into the product… then they might have something people would want to drink more of.

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Hello Brita Filter and Preserve Products. Goodbye Arrowhead, Crystal Springs, Dasani, Evian, Fiji, …

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?

In case you didn’t know, Benjamin is Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie The Graduate from 1967. Today Benjamin wouldn’t be so confused about the role of plastics in our lives and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the form of the plastic water bottle.

Brita Water Filter OptionsI’d like to think that Benjamin was a conscientious person and that maybe he would have landed a job with the Brita Water Filtration Systems Company. By now you’ve probably seen their clear plastic pitchers hanging out in your friend’s fridge, or maybe you own one like me. Brita’s plastic filters reduce your tap water’s chlorine taste and remove mercury via the carbon bits stuffed inside. But what do you do with the filter after it has served its purpose and needs replacing? To solve this question, Brita partnered with Boston-based Preserve, a 13-year-old company that makes house wares from recycled plastics. You may be wondering how this translates into Jubbling?

Jubbling starts when the consumer uses their tap water instead of bottled water. This reduces plastic bottle waste in landfills. It also lessens overall impact stemming from the transportation and warehousing of bottled water, including the fuel consumption and emissions produced when bringing it to the marketplace.

Preserve Products Gimme-5 ProgramThe Double-Jubbling, if you will, is fulfilled when the pitcher filters are further recycled into other items like toothbrushes and cutting boards via Preserve’s recycling process.. Preserve is currently promoting their Gimme 5 Program, which offers consumers drop-off locations, like Whole Foods Markets, as well as mailing instructions for used filters. The number five refers to the No. 5 polypropylene plastic (the number is found inside the small triangle on the bottom or side of some plastic containers) used in the Brita filter’s design. Apparently, not many municipalities accept this type in their recycling programs so this program keeps those items from filling up landfills.

What is incredible here is that we’re seeing three life-cycles of useful products. First is the pitcher filter, second is the new Preserve product created from recycled filters and the third use comes from recycling the second product after its lifespan is done. What do you call already good Jubbling that has been tweaked for increased benefit? Is it a Double-Jubbling? Maybe it’s a Redundant Jubbling, or Jubbling To The Third Degree? I’m not sure but this idea holds huge potential for reducing consumer impact and even calming the future concerns of present-day Benjamins all around the world.

Benjamin: I’m just…
Mr. Braddock: Worried?
Benjamin: Well…
Mr. Braddock: About what?
Benjamin: I guess about my future.
Mr. Braddock: What about it?
Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…
Mr. Braddock: To be what?
Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.


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