Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), Great Britain, the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, has adopted a new GB sustainable packaging strategy to recover all its packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter. At present, only 70% of the cans and 57% of the plastic bottles used each year are recycled. The company has planned three-pronged action plan and would like to work with others to improve the recovery and recycling of drinks packaging and to reduce littering in Great Britain. The three key areas of focus of the new strategy include: 1) To innovate to ensure that its packaging is as sustainable as possible, 2) To invest in consumer communication to promote recycling and encourage behaviour change and 3) To champion reform of the UK recycling system to ensure that more packaging is recovered and recycled.
CCEP has adopted the strategy of lightweighting, ensuring all its cans and bottles are 100% recyclable and using recycled materials. The plans are to double the amount of recycled plastic in every one of its PET bottles over the next three years – from the current average of 25% to 50% by 2020. The company will continue its longterm alliance with Clean Tech, the Europe’s largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire and support the circular economy in Great Britain. Accordingly, recycled bottles will return to shop shelves as part of new packs in as little as six weeks.
Coca-Cola will start a communications campaign to inspire more people to recycle. The campaign will put an advert called Love Story on TV at the end of July and run across TV, cinema and digital channels. The advert features two love struck plastic bottles which are parted and then reunited as they are disposed of properly, recovered and then recycled into new bottles. 35 million Britons are expected to see the advertisement by the end of this year. A new recycling message on bottles will promote recycling to six million people at festivals and events.
Working with others in partnership to improve the current packaging recycling system the company will initiate well-designed new interventions that have the potential to increase packaging collection and recycling rates, including stronger recycling targets, deposit return schemes, and extended producer responsibility.
In addition, CCEP will seek to advance its own knowledge of how to motivate consumers by an incentive-based scheme by testing an on-the-go bottle collection and reward programme to examine the behavioural impact of reward schemes and help reducing litter and increasing collection and recycling rates.
Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, said: “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 have a long-standing commitment to using locally-sourced rPET and other recycled materials in our packaging.