Coca-Cola launches sustainable packaging strategy

Coca-Cola European Partners has unveiled in sustainability strategy

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is to double the amount of recycled plastic in all of its bottles by 2020, as part of a new sustainable packaging strategy revealed Wednesday (July 12).

The company is aiming to increase the amount of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) in its plastic packaging from 25% to 50%.

CCEP also aimed to work with local and national partners to recover all its packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter.

Vice president and general manager of CCEP GB Leendert den Hollander said: “Our goal is to work with local and national partners to ensure all of our packaging is recovered and recycled. Our new strategy sets out how we will start work to achieve that.

“We have focused on the actions we can take as a business – such as our ability to communicate to consumers on the importance of recycling – as well as the areas where we want to work in close collaboration with others to reduce litter and increase the recovery and recycling of plastic bottles.” 

Supporting the circular economy

CCEP’s commitment to double its recycled material would play a positive role in supporting the circular economy in Britain – where resources are in use for as long as possible and then recovered and reused after the end of their serviceable life – claimed Hollander

“Our ambition – and our ability to go further in the future – will require reform of the packaging collection system in Great Britain and we will work with others to champion the changes that are required to ensure all our valuable materials are recovered.”

CCEP’s strategy is focused on three main areas: Continuing to innovate to ensure its packaging is as sustainable as possible, Investing in consumer communication to promote recycling and encourage behaviour change, and Championing reform of the UK recycling system to ensure more packaging is recovered and recycled. See the full infographic below.

The first area of the strategy, innovating packaging, focuses on CCEP’s long-term partnership with plastic recycling firm Clean Tech – which operates reportedly the largest bottle reprocessing facility in Europe – and its commitment to have recycled bottles back on stores shelves within six weeks.

CCEP’s second part of its strategy, consumer communication, will see Coca-Cola use its brands to better promote the idea of recycling to consumers, supported by the launch a multi-million pound advertising campaign.

Championing reform

The third part of the sustainable packaging campaign, championing reform, will see CCEP work in partnership with industry partners and the government to reform Britain’s current packaging recycling system.  

Commenting CCEP’s sustainability programme, Waste and Resources Action Programme chief executive Marcus Gover said: “Coca-Cola’s commitment is welcome news for those of us who are working to reduce litter and waste and increase recycling.

“Every day, around 16 million plastic bottles are littered or end up in landfill and to have a global brand like Coca-Cola leading the way in developing the new solutions and changes in behaviour required is a real step forward.”

The new strategy announcement followed the five-year anniversary of its partnership with Clean Tech, which has seen the company recycle more than 50,000t of plastic from about 2bn bottles.

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