Coca-Cola European Partners has unveiled its new Great Britain sustainable packaging strategy aimed at doubling the amount of recycled plastic in all of its bottles to 50% by 2020.
The initiative, no doubt, is partly in response to continued media coverage of low recycling rates and the concern of plastics pollution in oceans around the world. Greenpeace and other environmental organizations have indeed constantly pressured CCEP to release data about its global usage. At present, only 70% of the cans and 57% of the plastic bottles used each year in Great Britain are recycled. CCEP believes these figures should be higher.
Through its new Great Britain sustainable packaging strategy, the company sets out the key actions it will take and the areas where it will look to work with others to improve the recovery and recycling of beverage packaging, and to reduce littering in the country.
The new strategy is focused on three key areas:
1. Continuing to innovate to ensure its packaging is as sustainable as possible: CCEP has built a strong track record of light weighting, ensuring all its cans and bottles are 100% recyclable, and using recycled materials. It now wants to build on its work, with plans to double the amount of recycled plastic in every one of its PET bottles over the next three years. To achieve this target, it will continue its long-term partnership with Clean Tech, which operates Europe’s largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire, supporting the circular economy in Great Britain and allowing recycled bottles to return to shop shelves as part of new packs in as little as six weeks.
2. Investing in consumer communication to promote recycling and encourage behavior change: As part of the new strategy, Coca-Cola will use the power of its brands to inspire more consumers to recycle. The company is going to launch a multi-million-dollar communications campaign designed to inspire more people to recycle. The campaign will reach 35 million Britons by the end of this year. The company will also be putting a new recycling message on bottles and promoting recycling to 6 million people at festivals and events.
3. Championing reform of the U.K. recycling system to ensure more packaging is recovered and recycled: The company will continue to work in partnership with others—including the Governments of Great Britain—to improve the current packaging recycling system. To support the growth of the circular economy in Great Britain, the company will champion well-designed new interventions that have the potential to increase packaging collection and recycling rates.
Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, says “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 we have a long-standing commitment to use locally-sourced R-PET and other recycled materials in our packaging.”
“Our goal is to work with local and national partners to ensure all of our packaging is recovered and recycled. 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. Our ambition 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.” – he adds.