We've known for decades that our dependence on Oil has a lot of downsides for us - pollution-producing extraction processes, Middle Eastern tyrants, risks of spills, the non-sustainable nature of oil stocks, etc. - and yet we've barely made a dent in changing over to alternative sources of energy. Even technologies like hybrid cars are merely more efficient, or trade off prices at the pump for prices at a central power plant. Philosophy and long-term self interest are not doing the job of moving us to a post-oil future.
What is? Simple economics. Pepsi has just announced a new plastic bottle produces NOT from oil, but from plant byproducts. And they didn't do it for philosophical reasons. They did it because PepsiCo produces hundreds of thousands of tons of plant waste every year on their food products, which they can reuse to produce packaging. Saving them millions.
The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business.
The new bottle looks, feels and protects the drink inside exactly the same as its current bottles, said Rocco Papalia, senior vice president of advanced research at PepsiCo.
"It's a beautiful thing to behold," he said. "It's indistinguishable."