As part of its journey towards a World Without Waste, Coca-Cola in partnership with its strategic bottling partner, Coca-Cola HBC, announced that all plastic bottles across its soft drinks’ portfolio in Ireland and Northern Ireland are now made with 100% recycled plastic.
The new 100% recycled plastic bottles, which are also 100% recyclable, will be used across the full range of Coca-Cola products, such as Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and for other beverage brands owned by the company, including Fanta and Sprite. This is a key sustainability milestone for Coca-Cola on the island of Ireland and will lead to the elimination of an additional 7,100 tonnes of virgin plastic from circulation annually.
Over €20m has been invested in the last number of years in both developing sustainable packaging solutions through enhancement of its state-of-the-art Coca-Cola HBC plant at Knockmore Hill, Lisburn and in the purchase of recycled plastic material in that period. This investment has enabled the roll out of key packaging innovations, including today’s announcement to move to 100% recycled plastic and the recent introduction of KeelClip packaging in the market.
Coca-Cola is aiming to raise awareness of the need for packaging circularity and to increase recycling rates with a bold new green ribbon design on pack across its portfolio and simple recycling message: ‘I’m a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic*, recycle me again.’ The milestone moment will be accompanied by an out-of-home, digital and social campaign across October and November.
The move is part of a series of product changes being implemented by Coca-Cola in advance of the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in early 2024 in the Republic of Ireland.
Agnese Filippi, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland, said: “We are proud to be making the move to 100% recycled plastic across our entire soft drinks range. Today marks an important milestone on our sustainability journey here in Ireland and Northern Ireland realising our ambition of a World Without Waste. Reaching this point encourages us to continue to push further with our sustainability goals.
“As the biggest beverage brand on the island, we have a clear responsibility and opportunity to contribute to a circular economy – our actions make a big difference. At Coca-Cola Ireland, we will continue to challenge ourselves to reduce our packaging footprint and work with Irish consumers, government and local authorities to create a true circular economy for our plastic bottles and cans.”
Davide Franzetti, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, added: “As the bottling partner for The Coca-Cola Company, we have accelerated the move to sustainable packaging ensuring that Ireland remains one step ahead of the global targets by incorporating more recycled material in our packaging.
“The shift to using 100% recycled plastic in our bottles will help eliminate 7,100 tonnes of virgin plastic from circulation annually, and in conjunction with the introduction a deposit return scheme (DRS) in Ireland early next year, will also support our move towards ensuring all of our bottles are used, recovered, recycled and reused, again and again. We are committed to driving forward our World Without Waste programme on the island of Ireland as we work with others to address waste and climate issues created by packaging.”
Coca-Cola in Ireland and Northern Ireland has taken a series of measures in recent years to reduce its packaging footprint and improve collection systems that support a circular economy for plastic bottles and cans.
The business in Ireland has already removed 442 tonnes annually of shrink plastic by introducing KeelClip and cardboard packaging across the Coca-Cola multipack cans portfolio. Earlier this year, this was extended to its Schweppes can range. This new type of packaging not only replaces the plastic wrap, but also minimises the amount of paper/card required.
Through The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola has also been working with city councils to boost rates of collection of plastic bottles and cans for recycling in public places. Working with environmental NGO Hubbub, the #CircleCity campaign involves placing bright yellow bins, made especially for plastic bottles and cans, at city centre locations. Dublin City Council was the first to introduce the concept in 2020, and this year Belfast City Council has joined the initiative. The campaign’s objective is to positively change how shoppers, tourists and city workers, segregate the bottles and cans from other waste as they’re consuming on-the-go.
This announcement is the latest step by Coca-Cola to deliver its global ‘World Without Waste’ initiative which aims to design more sustainable packaging and to collect and recycle the equivalent of a can or bottle for each one it sells by 2030.
To find out more about Coca-Cola World Without Waste initiative, visit: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/sustainability/packaging-sustainability.
- All plastic bottles across soft drinks portfolio in Ireland now made with 100% recycled plastic
- Milestone will help eliminate an additional 7,100 tonnes of virgin plastic from circulation annually
- Over €20m invested in the development of sustainable packaging solutions and in the purchasing of recycled plastic material