Coca Cola launches UK sustainable packaging strategy, to double rPET content by 2020

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Coca-Cola aims to use 50% rPET in their bottles by 2020 with the help of Clean Tech UK’s recycling plan in Lincolnshire

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has unveiled its new UK sustainable packaging strategy, which will see it doubling the recycled plastic (rPET) content of all its bottles to 50%. 

The company announced on 12 July that it will be working with local and national partners to recover all its packaging to make sure none ends up as litter and more is recycled. 

According to CCEP only 57% of the plastic bottles used each year are recycled presently;  the company’s new strategy will set out key actions to further recover and recycle drinks packaging in the UK. 

As part of the initiative, CCEP said it planned to to double the amount of recycled plastic in its PET bottles over the next three years – from the current average of 25%.  

To achieve this, the company will continue its long-term partnership with Clean Tech, which operates Europe’s largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire. 

This, said CCEP, will allow recycled bottles to return to shop shelves as part of new packs in as few as six weeks. 

Another measure outlined by the strategy concerns the launch of a Coca-Cola branded communications campaign to convey the importance of recycling to 35 million consumers. 

As part of the new strategy, Coca-Cola will launch a multi-million-pound communications campaign to inspire more people to recycle. 

The campaign includes an advert called Love Story, which features two love struck plastic bottles who are parted and then reunited as they are disposed of properly, recovered and then recycled into new bottles.  

The company said it will also “place a new and clear recycling message” on its packs later this year while continuing to support the voluntary on-pack recycling label scheme, as well as engaging with  the some 6 million participants attending music festivals by means of sampling campaigns. 

 Additionally, CCEP will trial an “on-the-go bottle recovery and reward scheme” to motivate consumers to recycle. 

This will examine the behavioural impact of reward schemes and help inform any future national approaches to reducing litter and increasing collection and recycling rates. More details on these trials will be announced later this year. 

CCEP also said that it will promote reforms in the UK recycling system, working in partnership with others – including the governments – to improve the current packaging recycling system.  

The company said it will “champion well-designed new interventions that have the potential to increase packaging collection and recycling rates.” 

“We have long been committed to reducing the environmental impact of our packaging. We have ensured that all our bottles and cans are 100% recyclable; we have reduced the weight of our packs as much as possible; and have a long-standing commitment to use locally-sourced rPET and other recycled materials in our packaging,” said Leendert den Hollander, VP and general manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB.  

“Our desire to double the amount of recycled material we use in our plastic bottles sends a clear signal that we want to play a positive role in supporting the circular economy here in Great Britain,” he added.  

Coca-Cola operates in the UK Britain as two businesses – Coca-Cola Great Britain and its bottling partner Coca-Cola European Partners.

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