Coca-Cola to replace all bottles for recycled versions in ambitious environmental project

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The company ending the use of plastic bottles and replacing them with recycled plastics will save 29,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.

Coca-Cola Great Britain will now be using 100 percent recycled plastic only in all on-the-go bottles across its entire range.

The company’s goal is to continue its progress towards fully sustainable packaging.

This move covers other Coca-Cola brands including Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Lilt.

The change will take place in all plastic bottles of 500ml or less.

From September, shoppers will only find 100 percent recycled bottles on the supermarket’s shelves.

This milestone means Coca-Cola will increase the amount of recycled plastic material in smaller bottles from 50 percent to 100 percent and save 29,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.

Although all of Coca-Cola’s bottles have been recyclable for years, too many are still not being recycled.

To make it easier for shoppers, Coca-Cola has been working with the Scottish and Westminster Governments and industry partners on a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

This is set to encourage more people to recycle and ensure a greater collection of bottles in an efficient way so that they can be remade into new bottles again.

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 each year will no longer be wrapped in plastic.

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General Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, Jon Woods, said: “This announcement marks an important step towards our ambition to remove all non-recycled plastic from our bottles, and our global aim to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one that we sell by 2025.

“But there is still more we as an industry can do in order to increase the availability of food-grade recycled plastic locally available in Great Britain,” he said.

“That’s why we support the introduction of a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme, to ensure we collect more bottles and are able to produce more high-quality recycled plastic which can be converted into new bottles.”

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “I am delighted to see Coca-Cola Great Britain taking this significant step to ensure its on-the-go bottles are made from 100 percent recycled plastic.

“We are committed to crack down on plastic pollution through our landmark reforms such as a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and making manufacturers more responsible for their packaging.

“Bold measures of this nature from industry will play a huge role in helping us to achieve this ambition.”

Strategic Technical Manager at WRAP, Helen Bird, commented: “It takes 75 percent 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 percent recycled content is going to be strongly reliant on getting those bottles back,” she said.

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