A plant-based bottle for plant-based drinks

When So Delicious launched its organic almondmilk in an all new bottle, our CEO, Emmanuel Faber, tweeted that it was “the alimentation revolution in action.” And a revolution it is! In short, a brand that sells plant-based drinks offers them in plant-based packaging: recyclable sugarcane-based plastic.

Sugarcane is an incredibly versatile plant; it can be used for everything from consumption, to producing ethanol for energy, to forming the basis for other materials, like the new So Delicious bottle.

“With such a unique, plant-based beverage inside the bottle—simple, organic recipes with recognizable ingredients—we wanted packaging that matched the proposition,” said Aubrey Yuzva, Senior Brand Manager for So Delicious Dairy Free.

So Delicious chose to design its new bottle using 80% Sugarcane I’m green? polyethylene from Braskem. The plastic is made by processing sugarcane into ethanol, which then goes through a process of dehydration and becomes ethylene. From here, the substance is further transformed into polyethylene, the final plastic product that can then be molded into various shapes.

Because sugarcane plants used to make the bio-plastic for the Braskem bottle capture and store a great deal of atmospheric carbon, the bio-plastic itself actually helps to reduce net CO2 levels. As a result, Danone’s Braskem bottle is estimated to be 75% lower from a full life cycle CO2 standpoint than bottles using conventional fossil fuel-based plastic.

The bottle’s design— with an infographic on the back that explains the origin and urges consumers to recycle—helps it stand out further to consumers as an eco-conscious alternative.

“The modern, sleek look of the bottle, combined with the heavy use of the plant-based bio-resin, helped us create a well-rounded,” Yuvza said. “We’ve seen positive consumer response, with those that purchase reporting they feel like they are making a better choice overall.”

Part of a larger strategy

Danone North America, which owns the So Delicious brand, became the world’s largest company to be certified as a B Corp , a measure of the business’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Redesigning packaging in innovative ways to reduce carbon footprints and use fewer non-renewable resources is a fundamental part of making that shift.

“We’re going to be focused on issues like consumer transparency, and the quality and accessibility of information around food that people are purchasing,” said Deanna Bratter, senior director of sustainable development strategy for Danone North America. “There’ll be a focus area on the environment — on advocating for action against climate change, on building more resilient communities, promoting renewable energy and, of course, a huge focus around sustainable agriculture systems and soil health.”  

Bringing the new plant-based bottles together with a focus on organic nut milks has been a logical step towards marrying the two parts of Danone’s vision: One Planet. One Health.