You all know how much I love the refillable cup. Every year, my first purchase at my local theme park is a cup that can be used all season long for .99 refills, and I’ve got a cabinet full of them to prove it. Not only do they save a bit of moolah on drinks, but they are a practical souvenir and are great for use around the house and in the car. Those lids are a necessity. Now there’s another good reason to pick up one of these fun and functional cups.
One of my favorite theme park and entertainment companies, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, has debuted the first refillable plastic cup made from plant-based materials. This reusable, 100 percent recyclable plastic cup is manufactured using PlantBottle™ packaging technology from the company’s beverage partner, Coca-Cola. PlantBottle™ technology is used for Coca-Cola’s bottled beverages. SeaWorld has taken this technology to a new level, creating the first commercially available consumer product, a refillable plastic cup.
PlantBottle™ packaging trades traditional plastic bottle resins with natural sugars found in plants. Fewer fossil-based ingredients mean a smaller carbon footprint. SeaWorld’s switch to PlantBottle™ plastic in its refillable cups is expected to remove 35 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, which is the equivalent of saving more than 80 barrels of oil a year.
From the press release …
“Working together, our two companies are using our resources and reach to inspire people to make a difference,” said SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Corporate Vice President 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.”
Since Coca-Cola introduced PlantBottle™ technology in 2009 as the first recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, more than 450,000 barrels of oil have been saved. More than 20 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in 31 countries worldwide.
“Once we fully realized the power of PlantBottle™ technology, we knew it had real-world, global applications well beyond our own products,” said Scott Vitters, general manager, PlantBottle™ packaging platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “This collaboration with SeaWorld demonstrates that PlantBottle™ technology can be applied anywhere that PET plastic is traditionally used, but with a lighter footprint on the planet.”
The PlantBottle™ cup is now available at all SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks. In-park murals and point-of-purchase displays promoting environmental advocacy will help inform park guests of the new product.
SeaWorld plans to eventually use Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle™ technology in the manufacture of its souvenir cups. They are also exploring potential ways to use it in the development of other merchandise.
SeaWorld and Coca-Cola have partnered on other initiatives that promote conservation and sustainability:
- In 2013, SeaWorld introduced the Cup that Cares – a reusable cup with an embedded RFID chip that interacts with Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers in the theme parks. It calculates the amount of carbon guests keep from the environment by refilling their cups rather than using and disposing. It’s also really cute.
- All fountain drinks are served in paper cups made from 85 percent renewable resources.
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, is committed to building sustainable communities. The company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active and healthy living, create a safe work environment for employees, and enhance the economic development of the communities where they operate. Visit them online at CocaColaCompany.com.
P.S. I also love Coke’s new marketing campaign. Share a Coke with … . How cool is that?
Additional articles that highlight SeaWorld and Busch Gardens’ commitment to conservation and the environment:
- SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund gives $1.2 million to wildlife projects
- Bindi Irwin and Generation Nature bring energy and action to SeaWorld Parks
- Sheep graze beneath Verbolten in targeted grazing program at Busch Gardens