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So Good So You brand introduces biodegradable plastic bottles made of PET that the company claims are also recyclable.

Rick Lingle, Senior Technical Editor

August 27, 2020

3 Min Read
So Good So You Empty Bottles Group ftr
So Good So You

So Good So You’s products are unusual in that they’re refrigerated functional beverages taken in shot doses. In fact, they’re billed as the category leader in premium refrigerated wellness shots.

The company also has a history of healthy respect for the environment.

Says Rita Katona, co-founder and board chair, “we’ve always produced our shots in a Zero Waste facility powered by 100% renewable energy with more than 94% of our facility waste being diverted away from landfills in order to support our initiative of creating products that are better for the world.”

That eco-minded approach carries through to the packaging: the products have been packaged in 50mL/1.7oz PET plastic bottles made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic that’s recyclable.

BtrBtl group filled

Now the Minneapolis company’s packaging breaks new ground in staking a claim with a first in beverage packaging: the sustainable PET bottles are biodegradable and recyclable.

Named “BtrBtl” (Better Bottle), the PET bottles feature a proprietary additive that “allows it to biodegrade in landfills at an accelerated rate, breaking down in years versus centuries, without leaving microplastic fragments behind.”

ASTM tests back biodegradable claims.

BtrBtl is fully recyclable, but if placed in the trash or diverted from the recycling stream, will biodegrade more than 30% after the first year in active commercial landfill conditions. The company's data is based on ASTM D5526-94 testing of accelerated biodegradation versus 2% biodegradation of untreated PET.

So Good So You bottle degrading SQ

According to the company, BtrBtl ultimately turns into water, soil and gas that can be collected and converted into clean energy at landfill facilities.

Katona says it’s one solution to a “fractured recycling system,” citing the fact that more than 90% of plastic waste ends up in landfills regardless of proper recycling, according to National Geographic.

Notably, the inventive two-fold solution requires no change in consumer behavior.

PlasticsToday asked Katona about the two years’ research and development to make this all happen.

“No other beverage brand big or small is using this technology so there was no blueprint for how to implement it,” she responds. “This technology is new to the beverage industry space so it required a lot of planning and coordination with the supplier of the polymer, our bottle manufacturer, new molds, testing that the new bottles would work with our high-pressure processing (HPP) kill-step. Next was involving our internal operations and marketing teams, a team of legal counsel to ensure our messaging is compliant — it was a lengthy process.”

On-bottle and website information, education.

Biodegradability is messaged on the label; additional information and a video can be found on this webpage at the company website. 

So Good So You beauty square

“Our shot bottle is tiny, so messaging this important change was a challenge we were excited to solve,” she says. “Every new bottle states ‘BtrBtl, new eco-friendly bottle that’s better.’ Below this is text that directs consumers to our website where they can get additional information. We wanted to find a way for consumers to understand all of the complex issues with the broken recycling system through a video we created that lives on our site for them to easily access. We want them to make better choices and to further explain how our own bottle is better than plastic.”

The plant-based functional beverages are made with only certified organic and non-GMO-verified ingredients. Each shot is packed with one billion CFUs of probiotics that naturally support the immune and digestive system. They are available in varieties including Immunity, Energy, Sleep, Detox, Digestion, Beauty, Longevity and Endurance. So Good So You is the #1 premium brand in the emerging functional shot category. They are available in 47 states in more than 4,000 stores nationwide, including Target, Publix, Sprouts and Safeway.

About the Author(s)

Rick Lingle

Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday

Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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