Smoothie maker Innocent drinks has announced it will introduce fully compostable bottles made from corn starch, from this autumn.
Innocent's new fully compostable bottle
The new bottles will be made from polylactic acid (PLA), which can be made from any plant sugar or starch. Innocent will use fermented and distilled dextrose from corn to produce lactic acid which will be converted into PLA pellets for processing in a way similar to PET.
Initially the PLA bottles will be used for its yogurt, vanilla bean and honey thickies, with the aim being to roll them out to the rest of its range later.
The PLA bottles, which comply with BS EN 13432 standards, will biodegrade in commercial composting sites over 40 days. Innocent says the process is the only commercially viable one that uses annually renewable resources, has a good lifecycle profile and can compete with traditional materials.
With a million Innocent drinks sold in Europe each week, it hopes to raise awareness of more sustainable packaging options, and that other food and drink manufacturers will follow suit. Innocent says the move is in keeping with its sustainable business approach, for which it has taken cost hits, but is part of its ethos of constantly looking for the best environmental solutions.
Innocent co-founder Richard Reed said: We have a history in leading the way in packaging innovation. In 1999 we started using 25% recyclable plastic and moved on to 50% recyclable bottles earlier this year.
Finding a way to go to 100% compostable is a huge step forward for our sustainability squad.