Mainstream beverage distributors haven’t managed to muster up the energy to produce 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles–until now. Naked Juice became the first nationally distributed brand to use PET (polyethylene terepthalate) bottles this week with its 32 ounce reNEWabottle. Drinks available in the new bottle, scheduled to hit shelves this month, include Green Machine, Blue Machine, Mighty Mango, Chai Spiced Cider, and Pomegranate Blueberry.
The switch to PET bottles will save over 1 million pounds of virgin plastic each year and cut oil use by 8,192 barrels. That’s the equivalent of taking 497 cars off the road. Once Naked Juice transitions completely to PET bottles in 2010, the company will slash plastic use by 8.1 million pounds per year.
PepsiCo-owned Naked Juice is light years ahead of other drink manufacturers, which have stalled on the issue of PET bottles. Coca-Cola uses less than 4% recycled materials in its PET bottles and has the fairly unambitious goal of increasing the number to 10% by 2010. Cost could be a part of the problem–Naked refuses to disclose how much the move to 100% PET bottles cost, and the company insists it didn’t make the switch for monetary reasons. The new bottles could, however, boost Naked Juice’s environmental credibility and lead to a bump in sales. And now that Naked has figured out the technical aspects of designing and manufacturing its recycled bottles, perhaps its parent company will take note and adopt the process for other brands.
[Via SGV Tribune]