Coca-Cola, in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners, has announced that its Honest, GLACÉAU Smartwater and Chaudfontaine brands will all be sold in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET). They will transition between the end of 2019 and 2020, replacing 9,000 tonnes of virgin plastic per year across Western Europe.
This move supports Coca-Cola’s commitment that, by 2025, at least half of the plastic used in its PET bottles across Western Europe will come from recycled sources. In 2019, Coca-Cola will use approximately 60,000 tonnes of recycled plastic in these markets, removing the equivalent amount of virgin plastic.
Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director for Coca-Cola Western Europe said: “This is a significant step for our business. From 2020, wherever you buy these brands in our Western European markets, you will find them in a bottle that is entirely made from recycled plastic. This is a clear signal of our ambition – we aim to meet and exceed our target of using 50% rPET across our total portfolio by 2025.”
“Both Honest and GLACÉAU Smartwater have a huge following in the US, whilst being relatively young brands in Europe. We have ambitious growth plans for both of these brands, as we continue to broaden our portfolio to offer people different drinks to meet changing tastes and lifestyles – and we want to grow them sustainably.”
Coca-Cola is also announcing that it is transitioning Sprite from a green PET bottle to a clear PET pack, which can more easily be recycled bottle to bottle.
Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Coca-Cola European Partners said: “We know people have high expectations of companies to make the products that they love in a sustainable way and we’re committed to meeting those expectations. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that every bottle or can we sell is collected, recycled and reused. By moving Sprite from a green bottle to a clear bottle, the material can easily be recycled and used again to make another bottle.”
Coca-Cola has a strong track record of investment in recycled PET and began using recycled PET in its plastic bottles in the 1990s. More recently Coca-Cola has invested in enhanced recycling technologies to improve the availability of food-grade recycled PET for use in its bottles. This technology allows PET to be created from low-value plastic waste that previously couldn’t be recycled into bottles.
Van Gompel explains: “These new technologies expand the types of plastic waste streams that can be recycled back into bottles, allowing a broader range of collected materials to become part of the circular economy. It also enables us to use collection streams that were normally going to incineration or landfill. Investments in scale-up technologies such as these help us accelerate our use of recycled plastic in our bottles.’