ATLANTA (AP) -- Coca-Cola Co. is introducing a new plastic bottle partially made from plants, becoming the latest drink maker to try to make more eco-friendly packaging as consumers become more concerned about waste generated by plastic bottles.
The Atlanta-based world's biggest drink maker said Thursday it will start using the so-called "PlantBottle" with its water brand, Dasani, and certain sparkling brands in select North American markets later this year. The company's vitaminwater franchise will be added in 2010.
The bottles are made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials. They are fully recyclable and will be identified with messages on the packages and in stores.
Coca-Cola said the bottles are currently made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses into a component for polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic, though it is exploring using other plants.
The major drink makers are trying to make their bottles more ecofriendly. In March, PepsiCo Inc. said it would start selling Aquafina in a lighter bottle to lessen the amount of plastic used. Nestle Waters North America also sells a lighter version of its Ozarka brand in certain states.
Last June, mayors of 250 U.S. cities voted to stop using taxpayer money to buy bottled water and restaurants, college campuses, and even certain state governments are considering or have made moves to lessen their use.
Coca-Cola shares added 83 cents to $44.45 in afternoon trading.