Coca-Cola has taken another step on its journey to eliminating new virgin oil-based plastic by announcing that its brands in the Netherlands and Norway will transition to plastic bottles made from 100% recycled PET (rPET).
Following the announcement late last year that Coca-Cola in Sweden would become the first market to switch to 100% rPET, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands has announced that from October 2020 it will transition all its locally produced small plastic bottles to 100% rPET, including brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Large plastic bottles will follow in 2021, making it the second market to transition its locally-produced portfolio to 100% rPET.
The company projects that its switch to 100% rPET in the Netherlands will eliminate the use of more than 10,000 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic, amounting to a 21% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles per year compared to the rPET level before the transition, when the portfolio in the Netherlands already consisted of more than 50% recycled PET.
Additionally, during the first half of 2021, Coca-Cola in Norway will transition to 100% rPET for all plastic bottles that it produces locally. This transition will reportedly remove around 4,300 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic a year and is projected to deliver a 28% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles per year compared with the rPET level before the switch when the portfolio in Norway was approximately 25% rPET.
Both Coca-Cola in the Netherlands and Coca-Cola in Norway will be the first companies in their respective countries to move their entire portfolio of locally produced plastic bottles to 100% rPET. This move supports Coca-Cola’s ambition in Western Europe to accelerate the use of 100% rPET and eliminate new virgin oil-based PET in all its bottles within the next decade.
A key enabler for Coca-Cola’s switch to 100% recycled plastic material in the Netherlands and Norway is the rapidly expanding Deposit Return Schemes operational in both countries. Coca-Cola in Western Europe recognises the vital role that well-designed Deposit Return Schemes will play in its 100% rPET vision.
Joe Franses, vice president sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners said: “This announcement marks a vitally important step forwards on our journey to eliminating new virgin oil-based plastic across all our plastic bottles within a decade. Crucially, this announcement provides a compelling case for the role that Deposit Return Schemes can play in the creation of local circular economies for beverage packaging.
“Markets with well-designed DRS such as those in Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway not only have high collection rates but also have the capacity to collect a higher grade of material with less contamination.”