ORLANDO, Fla. (PRNewswire) — Being green is oh-so refreshing. That was the message today as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ debuted 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-percent recyclable plastic cup is manufactured using proprietary PlantBottle™ packaging technology from the company's beverage partner, Coca-Cola.
"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."
PlantBottle packaging swaps traditional plastic 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 -- the equivalent of saving more than 80 barrels of oil a year.
The unique PlantBottle technology is popular packaging for Coca-Cola's bottled beverages. SeaWorld takes this technology to a new level, creating the first commercially available consumer product: a refillable plastic cup.
Since The Coca-Cola Company 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. And, 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."
Colorful in-park murals and point-of-purchase displays promoting environmental advocacy will help inform park guests of the new product.
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.
SeaWorld and Coca-Cola have also partnered on two 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 and calculates the amount of carbon guests keep from the environment by refilling their cups.
- All fountain drinks are served in paper cups made from 85 percent renewable resources. This is a sizeable commitment: 14.6 million paper cups are used each year throughout the company's 11 theme parks.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com , follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com  or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company .
SeaWorld taps Coca-Cola's breakthrough PlantBottle packaging technology to create the first consumer cup that reduces carbon impact and advances plant-friendly vacations. The packaging swaps traditional plastic resins with natural sugars found in plants.