Soda's bad for you, but plastics—especially the petroleum-based PET plastics used widely for bottles—are bad for everyone. Thankfully, after millions of dollars and years of research, Pepsi thinks it's cracked the code on a 100% plant-based PET bottle.
It looks...just like the old bottle. Which is a good thing! "It's indistinguishable," says Rocco Papalia, PepsiCo's senior vice president of advanced research. But instead of drawing from our planet's diminishing supply of petroleum, it's made entirely from plant waste—currently switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and eventually incorporating orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other materials leftover from its food business. That doesn't mean you'll be able to just plant it in the ground and grow a Pepsi tree after you're done with it—it's not biodegradable, just recyclable like regular plastics—but it's a vast improvement in terms of what goes into creating it.
Pepsi's going to test the bottle with a run of a few hundred thousand in 2012, and if all goes well they plan on converting all their products to the new bottles thereafter. It has the potential to be a huge shift not only of the beverage industry but for plastics altogether. "This is the beginning of the end of petroleum-based plastics," said Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist Allen Hershkowitz. Nice! At least your three-bottle-a-day Pepsi habit will be ecologically sound. [CS Monitor via Geekosystem]