Local green water company welcomes competition from PepsiCo

Filed under News digest, Product development

While some entrepreneurs fear competition, Glencoe entrepreneur Brad Schulman prefers to look at the big picture.

Schulman, who founded Green Planet Bottling in 2008 to make bottled water in a plant-based bioplastic bottle that’s free of petroleum, regards the announcement this week that PepsiCo has devised a similar bottle as good news for the industry and the environment.

“I’m all for it,” he said. “It validates our company’s long-term investment.”

What’s more, Schulman said, he still has first-mover advantage and a growing following among hotels, colleges, universities and national parks. “Business is very strong. We’re growing all over the country,” he said. Green Planet uses a distinct octagon-shaped bottle that sets it apart from competitors.

By announcing a plant-based bottle, PepsiCo “basically just told everybody that’s been dealing with Green Planet that they chose the right direction,” Schulman said. But Green Planet’s product, made with vapor-distilled water, is available currently, while PepsiCo is still perfecting its bottle, he said.

Pressure has been growing from environmental groups and consumers about the amount of waste produced by  petroleum-based plastic water bottles, Schulman said. As a public company, PepsiCo had to respond to that pressure, he said.

Coca-Cola offers a PlantBottle, but it is made from 30 percent plant material, while PepsiCo said its bottle will be 100 percent plant-based but is not biodegradable, according to a Chicago Tribune article.

Green Water’s bottle is fully recyclable and compostable, Schulman said. When water heated to 170 degrees hits the bottle, it melts, returning to 100 percent virgin polymer, Schulman said.

— Ann Meyer

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