Starting this summer, Heinz will be bottling its famous ketchup in more earth-friendly packaging. Yesterday, the company announced that it plans to use plant-based bottles developed by Coke — aptly named “PlantBottles” — for all of its 20 oz. ketchup bottles. The plastic bottles consist of 30 percent plant material, and are made with a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, which results in a lower reliance on unsustainable resources as compared with traditional PET bottles.
The switch is the biggest change that Heinz has introduced to their ketchup bottle since first using plastic containers in 1983. There will be no difference in shelf life, weight, or appearance, except talking labels asking, “Guess what my bottle is made of?” Heinz says that the switch to more eco-friendly bottles is a vital step in reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, water consumption and energy usage by at least 20 percent by 2015.
When Coke first introduced PlantBottles in 2009, an initial life-cycle analysis by the Imperial College London showed that the bottle had a 12 to 19 percent reduction in carbon impact. Coca-Cola said that last year, PlantBottles eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of CO2.
Both Coca-Cola and Heinz are working to reduce their carbon footprints. Coca-Cola recently released an updated sustainability plan, and the company plans to replace all regular plastic packaging with PlantBottles by 2020. Last October, Heinz reported that the company cut CO2 emissions by 17,000 tons since 2006 at three of its UK factories. Heinz also received an “A” grade from Green Century Capital Management and As You Sow for using BPA-free linings from some of its canned products, and creating a timeline to completely eliminate the chemical from all packaging.
Here’s hoping Heinz will create a similar timeline for replacing all plastic packaging with PlantBottles!
WHY THIS MATTERS
The negative environmental impact of plastics are widely known and understood, so here at Inhabitat, we applaud any step away from them. While PlantBottles are not a perfect solution, they still help eliminate CO2 emissions and mitigate global warming.