Investors who like more sustainable practices should cheer recent moves by some of the industry giants to make their products more ecologically friendly. The most recent name on this list is PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which recently announced that it had created a recyclable 100% plant-based bottle.

The Pepsi bottle is composed of switch grass, pine bark, and corn husks, and looks just like the petroleum-based containers that are commonly used today. Eventually, the company plans to use oat hulls, orange peels, and other agricultural by-products -- refuse from from its Quaker Oats and Tropicana businesses -- to make the bottles. While the news made some big headlines recently, Pepsi still needs to formulate a way to scale this bottle up so that it can be used in everyday operations.

Cola war rival Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) is a step ahead, and has had its own bottle -- the imaginatively named PlantBottle -- with 30% plant-based materials on the market for a couple years. In fact, Coke already has 2.5 billion of its special containers on the market, while Pepsi won't even start pilot production of its full plant bottle until 2012.

Moves such as these are being seen across the consumer space as big names rush to increase sustainability and reduce costs. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) achieved platinum-level LEED certification for its headquarters a couple years ago, and instituted a number of changes to its corporate campus to save energy and costs. Giants such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) have also gotten in on the act, by rating the eco-friendliness of their packaging. Meanwhile, rival Costco (Nasdaq: COST) -- the largest retail fish purchaser in the U.S. -- has pledged to eliminate sales of a dozen types of unsustainably farmed fish.

What else have consumer and industrial giants been doing to boost their sustainable practices? Let me know in the comments box below.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares in McDonald's. Costco, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Costco is a Stock Advisor choice. Wal-Mart Stores is a Global Gains selection. Coca-Cola, McDonald's, PepsiCo, and Wal-Mart are Income Investor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Wal-Mart. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, Costco, PepsiCo, and Wal-Mart. 

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