Last time PlasticsToday covered SeaWorld and plastics was when the company announced it would remove plastic shopping bags at all of its theme parks. This time around the company has somewhat embraced plastics, or more specifically, bioplastics.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment recently debuted what it calls the "first refillable plastic cup made from plant-based materials." Now available in all SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks across the U.S., the reusable, 100% recyclable plastic cup is manufactured using proprietary PlantBottle packaging technology from the company's beverage partner, Coca-Cola.
By now, we're sure you're familiar with the PlantBottle packaging, which swaps traditional plastic resins with natural sugars found in plants. The technology is used for a variety of Coca-Cola beverages. SeaWorld believes the company is taking this technology to a new level, creating the first commercially available consumer product: a refillable plastic cup. SeaWorld's switch to PlantBottle plastic in its refillable cups is expected to remove 35 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually - the equivalent of saving more than 80 barrels of oil a year.
Since Coca-Cola introduced the PlantBottle technology in 2009 as the first recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, more than 20 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in 31 countries worldwide.
SeaWorld eventually plans to use Coca-Cola's PlantBottle technology in the manufacture of many of its souvenir cups and is actively exploring opportunities for its potential use in the development of other merchandise.
"Working together, our two companies are using our resources and reach to inspire people to make a difference," said SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment corporate VP of culinary operations Andrew Ngo. "Our friends at The Coca-Cola Company share our commitment to conservation, our passion for the planet, and our innovative approach to consumer experiences. Even more important, this appeals to our guests, who expect and reward recycling and sustainability."
Our sister publication, Packaging Digest, reached out to the team at SeaWorld to find out more information on this announcement, which the SeaWorld team told the publication that: "We believe it's important to offer our guests products that are eco-friendly, but reliable and fun at the same time. Our goal was to create a vessel for beverages that was made with sustainable materials that maintained dependability and also was fun, vibrant and easy-to-use. We didn't want to give up the functionality of the product, but rather produce a quality product that our customers love and feel good about buying."
Click here to read the full interview with Packaging Digest.