Sun, 25 July 2021

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Going further and faster on our sustainability journey

Going further and faster on our sustainability journey

Stephen Moorhouse, General Manager | Coca-Cola European Partners

3 min read Partner content

Today marks an important milestone for CCEP as we announce our on-the-go bottles across our entire range are set to reach 100% recycled plastic (rPET), meaning we can save over 29,000 tonnes of ‘new’ non-recycled plastic every year - equivalent of 2,292 double decker buses.

Increasing the amount of recycled plastic material in all our on-the go bottles from 50% to 100% forms a key part of our strategy in the creation of a circular economy for PET packaging and our sustainable packaging journey putting us closer to achieving our ambition of a world without waste.

It’s part of our programme to accelerate our action on packaging as part of our wider This is Forward sustainability journey, and push forward our longer-term environmental goals in Great Britain. Over the past 18 months, we have redesigned Sprite and Lilt packaging to make it easier to recycle and worked with industry partners trialing the sale of refillable glass bottles in Great Britain for the first time in over 20 years. Our GLACEAU Smartwater range also became the first water bottle range in Great Britain to be made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET).

We also saw the production of our first Shrink to Board packs at our Sidcup site earlier this year. By removing the plastic on four, six and eight packs, we will save almost 1000 tonnes of plastic from our business annually.

Alongside this, we’ve been light weighting our cans, which are now 22% lighter than just two years ago helping to save resources during filling, transportation and storage, all of which reduces our carbon impact and helps us to meet our wider sustainability goals.

But there is still more work to be done in order to increase the availability of food-grade recycled plastic locally available in Great Britain. That’s why we support the introduction of a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), in order to ensure we collect more bottles and are able to produce more high-quality recycled plastic which can be converted into new bottles.

With Scotland planning to introduce a DRS next year and the consultation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland closing recently, there is real momentum for this. Coca-Cola, campaign groups, policy makers, and the public align in calling for a well-designed scheme.

We must capitalise, and build the infrastructure towards generating a circular economy as soon as possible across the nation. As part of our role in Circularity Scotland we are committed to working closely with stakeholders to implement a scheme that works for everyone.

Tackling future challenges head on

Our 100% rPET milestone represents an important step forwards but we recognise the critical part we still have to play as a responsible business. It’s up to businesses to continue to drive innovation, collaborate with industry partners, embrace new technologies and explore new ways to bring sustainable packaging to life and we’ll continue to work with our customers and key stakeholders to continue to make a positive difference and build a sustainable future here in Great Britain.

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