Image: Flickr via Aaron Tait
Starting in 2011, Odwalla will transition to "PlantBottle" packaging—an HDPE plastic bottle made almost entirely (at least 96 percent) from molasses and sugarcane juice.
Even more exciting, most recycling facilities that currently process regular HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastics will be able to accept PlantBottles, so people will be able to recycle them the same way they do regular plastic bottles. (Although there's no word yet on whether or not the PlantBottle will be prone to the same issues with "downcycling" that plague other plastics.) Odwalla estimates that use of the new plant-based packaging will save up to the equivalent of 400,000 gallons of gas annually, compared with the petroleum-based plastic bottles it (and just about every other bottled drink company) now uses. The PlantBottle is also expected to have the same shelf life, weight, composition and appearance as conventional petroleum-based plastic.
The company is proud of other steps it has already taken to be green, like its Plant A Tree Program, which it says has planted more than 300,000 trees in three years. Now, Odwalla President Alison Lewis said, "Plants do such a good job of making our juice, Odwalla hired them to help make our bottles."
More about Odwalla and other plant-based packaging
Odwalla Launches 2009 Plant a Tree Program
Who Owns Your Food? (Quiz)
Planting Books, Boxes, and Paper: Grow-able Packaging Goes Mainstream
Is Noise Really Why SunChips Should Ditch Bioplastic Packaging?