Coca-Cola Trademark brands (Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Flavors) debut a 13.2-ounce (1 ounce (oz) = 30 ml) bottle made from 100% recycled PET (rPET) plastic in California, Florida (United States) and select states in the Northeast.
Coca-Cola North America
“Challenges around plastic packaging waste and recycling continue to be top of mind for our consumers, customers and our system”, said Vice President and General Manager, Sustainability, North America Operating Unit Alpa Sutaria. “Introducing 100% rPET bottles is a big proof point of how recycling can help create a circular economy. We believe this innovation delivers the double benefit of convenience and sustainability”.
Coca-Cola North America’s rPET innovations spans the portfolio and includes multiple brands and packaging sizes: Coca-Cola trademark brands roll out 20-ounces. bottles made with 100% rPET in California, New York and Texas in February 2021. DASANI will launch 20-ounces. 100% rPET bottles in New York, California and Texas in March; Sprite will launch a 13.2-ounce 100% rPET clear bottle in the Northeast, California and Florida in February. All Sprite packaging will transition to clear packaging, which is easier to be recycled and remade into new bottles, by the end of 2022.
Combined, these innovations represent a 20% reduction in the company’s use of new plastic across its North American portfolio compared to 2018. They will collectively reduce 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually in the United States - the equivalent of taking 2,120 cars off the road for one year - based on internal company tools and analyses.
More than 94% of the Company’s North American packaging is currently recyclable. To build awareness and encourage action, all 100% rPET package labels will include “Recycle Me Again” messaging. In fact, four different areas on the packaging will educate people about recycling. A primary goal of the “Endlessly Refreshing” Campaign - which also will include outdoor, radio, in-store and social/digital communications, plus touch-free experiential activations - is to boost recycling rates so rPET bottles can be used again and again to create raw material for new bottles, supporting closed-loop recycling systems and a circular economy.
Coca-Cola Great Britain and Coca-Cola Euro Pacific Partners (CCEP)
Coca-Cola Great Britain and Coca-Cola Euro Pacific Partners (CCEP) have announced the transition to 100 percent recycled plastic in all on-the-go bottles of 500ml or less. The packaging will be made of fully recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastic. The move covers the Company’s entire portfolio of drinks brands including Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Lilt.
The new bottles will continue to be entirely recyclable, with the rollout commencing in September, when the first 100 percent recycled 500ml bottles will start appearing on shelves. Bold messaging on-pack reminds consumers that the bottles are 100% recyclable and made entirely from rPET plastic.
Coca-Cola’s increased use of these recycled plastics hopes to save approximately 29,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year. The Company is also completing the transition from plastic shrink wrap to cardboard packaging across all multipacks. This action will mean that more than 30 million packs sold to consumers each year will no longer be wrapped in plastic.
To make it easier to recycle their plastic bottles, Coca-Cola has been working closely with the Scottish and Westminster Governments and industry partners on an operational Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). Such schemes function by adding a small deposit on top of the price of the product, which the consumer will receive back once the container is deposited at a designated recycling point. This will aim to encourage more people to recycle and ensure an increased collection of bottles, ready to be remade into new bottles. The DRS is planned for implementation in Scotland by July next year, with England and Wales following thereafter.
Strategic Technical Manager of the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) Helen Bird said: “It takes 75 per cent less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic and with plastic waste significantly contributing to fossil emissions when incinerated, it’s never been more important to specify recycled content and keep packaging in a circular system.
“It’s positive to see Coke, founding members of The UK Plastics Pact, continuing to push the boundaries on design and engaging with its customers to place the bottles in the recycling, since achieving 100% recycled content is going to be strongly reliant on getting those bottles back”.
Coca-Cola Oceania and Coca-Cola Amatil NZ
Coca-Cola Oceania and Coca-Cola Amatil NZ have significantly reduced their use of virgin plastic by using only recycled plastic across some of New Zealand’s best-known drinks brands.
In 2020, major brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, POWERADE and Sprite are now made from 100% recycled plastic in all its plastic bottles smaller than 1 liter. Water brands such as Pump, Kiwi Blue and Pure Drop are now using 100% recycled plastic across all its bottles in every size. The plastic used is high-quality recycled PET, meaning bottles can be recycled over and over again. This will reduce the amount of new plastic used by around 2,700 tons.
Country Manager of Coca-Cola Oceania Richard Schlasberg said he was proud of what the company had achieved since the recycled plastic goal was announced in July 2019, but this was just the start of the journey. “We want to help create a truly circular economy in New Zealand, where every plastic product we use is not only recyclable, but actually gets recycled so nothing goes to waste. And while we hope our plastic packaging never makes it into our waterways, through The Coca-Cola Foundation we have donated more than US$ 300,000 each year to local environmental group Sea Cleaners, which removes more than 4.8 million pieces of litter a year from Kiwi waters.
The Coca-Cola Company now offers 100% rPET bottles in more than 25 markets, bringing it closer to its World Without Waste goal of making bottles with 50% recycled content by 2030. Announced in 2018, the sustainable packaging platform also includes a goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for everyone the company sells globally by 2030 and to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025.
(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition III - 2021)