Beverage giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo foster sustainability innovations to beat EU Directive 2019/204 deadline

EUROPE – The Coca-Cola Company is rolling out tethered caps onto its bottles in EU markets, Eighteen months ahead of the EU Directive 2019/204 deadlines.

From July 2024, plastic beverage bottles up to three liters in size will be required by EU law to have closures that remain attached to the container throughout their intended use.

Beating the dates, the multinational beverage company is already adopting tethered caps in European markets, with closures having been applied to bottling lines in Germany, Spain, and the UK.

The closure design features a tamper-evident band that does not impact the closure’s ability to remain attached once broken. It is positioned out of the way for drinking and can easily be reclosed.

The packaging solution is designed to cut down on waste by securing the closure of the bottle and improving recyclability.

Essentially, by remaining attached, the multinational beverage company said the lid is less likely to be littered, and more likely to be recycled.

The shift has made Berry Global Group, Inc. to become the first plastic packaging manufacturer in Europe to supply Coca-Cola with a lightweight, tethered closure for its soft drinks in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.

Berry’s closure for Coca-Cola is based on its patented CompactFlip hinge technology, the first to be used in conjunction with the new lightweight 26mm GME30.40 neck, developed by the International Technical Centre for Bottling (Cetie) Single-Use Plastics Group.

The new neck finish delivers an over 1g saving in PET compared to the current PCO-1881 neck. To date, 400m closures have been applied to Coca-Cola’s bottling lines. The rollout will continue to the company’s other European plants.

Concurrently, PepsiCo has reiterated its commitment to growing its percentage of refillable/reusable packaging options, including expanding its SodaStream in-home and in-office sparkling water systems.

Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer for PepsiCo, revealed that PepsiCo will accelerate our investment in disruptive innovation and advocate for policies that allow it to scale up reusable packaging options, platforms, and programs.

According to Andrew, the investment in reusable packaging will offer consumers a wide variety of alternative ways to enjoy their favorite beverages while moving away from reliance on single-use packaging.

In early December 2022, PepsiCo announced that it will be pursuing four approaches to reusable packaging to double the percentage of all beverage servings it sells that are delivered through reusable models—from 10% to 20%—by 2030.

The beverage giant noted reuse is one of several critical levers it is using to meet its goals to reduce virgin plastic per serving by 50% by 2030 and to become Net Zero by 2040.

The company is an Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signatory. Its four approaches align with the four models outlined by EMF in its “Reuse – Rethinking Packaging” framework.

To further minimize packaging waste, PepsiCo also offers a system whereby consumers can exchange their spent CO2 cylinders for new ones from the SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker.

The SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker is a home (aerating)carbonation system that includes a machine, a carbon dioxide cylinder, and a plastic bottle designed to be reused for up to three years. SodaStream sterilizes, inspects, and refills the cylinders with fresh, dietary-grade CO2.

The Pepsi brand owner purchased Israel-based SodaStream International Ltd. for more than US$3.2 billion in 2018, which enabled it to own such cutting-edge technology.

The company’s Refill-at-home strategy involves the expansion of its SodaStream business, both at home and in the workplace through SodaStream Professional.

“The widespread international availability of SodaStream and SodaStream Professional, and its continued growth, enables consumers to reinvent how they consume some of the world’s most loved beverage brands and personalize their choices in reusable containers, potentially eliminating the need for more than 200 billion plastic bottles by 2030,” PepsiCo says.

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