Milk & More is partnering with Cola-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) to trial the direct delivery, return, refill, and reuse of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar glass bottles from consumers’ doorsteps.

Starting from 5th June and running for eight to twelve weeks while stocks last, the trial will take place across South London and central southern England. Consumers will be encouraged to buy one-litre glass bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which can then be rinsed and left on their doorsteps to be collected.

The washing, refilling, and reuse process can take place up to 20 times, in which case it expects to offer an 82% reduction in carbon footprint compared to single-use glass. Milk & More already delivers reusable glass bottles for organic and standard milk, alternative milk, fruit juices, water, soft drinks, and mixers, claiming that its milk bottles are reused 28 times on average.

This claims to total over 80 million units of ‘zero waste’ packaging a year, with a reported 97% of Milk & More’s sales by volume said to be sold in reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging. The use of electric vehicle delivery fleets is also anticipated to convert an annual 10 million miles into electric miles, an effort thought to be complemented by charging the vehicles with renewable energy sources.

Additionally, CCEP hopes that 100,000 consumers will engage with the trial and take up refillable packaging solutions, aiding the organisation’s efforts to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

“The trial between Milk & More and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners offers another way for consumers to buy soft drinks and reduce the amount of packaging used,” explains Milk & More CEO Patrick Müller. “The two businesses share a commitment to work towards Net Zero and to do all we both can to support the environment.

“As the Home of Refills, we are therefore delighted to help Coca-Cola Europacific Partners understand more about consumer behaviour around returnable packaging, as this has been at the heart of our ethos for 130 years.

“Our customers want to be more sustainable, but they are busy people and need simple solutions to help them, so we are confident that they will welcome this trial as it offers them exactly the same service as they already have with Milk & More.

“Refillable products like our glass milk bottles and the one litre glass bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar are one of the most effective ways we can all reduce waste and our carbon footprint. We believe that our customers are becoming more aware that refills feature fewer packaging materials, which means a smaller carbon footprint and will therefore embrace this trial as a way they can do even more to help the planet.”

Jo Padwick, senior sustainability manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, added: “We are excited to begin this partnership with Milk & More and to build on our previous trials to find innovative and sustainable ways of delivering soft drinks to consumers. Trials like these are an important step in our sustainability journey, helping us to find realistic solutions to reduce the amount of packaging we use in our everyday operations. Everything we do helps us take another step towards fulfilling our goal of net zero by 2040, and finding refillable solutions are a huge part of this.

“This partnership with Milk & More allows us to gather valuable insights into how consumers respond to return-based trials in comparison to recycling. The results of this trial will help us understand the potential of refillable services in GB as we push forward with our ambition of a World Without Waste and ultimately create a more circular economy.”

A recent collaboration between Milk & More, Again, and Tom Parker Creamery hoped to cut down on the latter’s CO2 and water footprints with a similar doorstep collection system.

CCEP has also invested over €40 million into its refillable bottle infrastructure in Germany. This development expects to maximise its supply chain’s sustainability and enable customers to offer reusable glass bottles for their beverages.

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