SWEDEN – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has launched a pilot in refillable on-the-go drinks solutions in Sweden as part of a push towards achieving its 2040 net-zero carbon emission goal.  

The new concept, launched in Reitan Convenience’s PBX store, aims to test consumers’ response to refillable beverage containers and the potential of these solutions to reduce waste. 

The trial is in collaboration with Swedish company Glacial, which creates reusable stainless steel tumblers designed to keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours. 

During the pilot, consumers will be allowed to buy or bring their own beverage containers to fill, choosing from more than 60 flavors from the Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, FuzeTea, and Smartwater brands, most of which are not available packaged. 

“Packaging accounts for over 40% of our carbon emissions and we have the ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040,” CCEP said in a statement.  

“We are therefore working hard to find innovative solutions so that consumers can continue to enjoy our drinks with the same good quality and taste while reducing the amount of packaging used.” 

World’s Top Plastic Polluters 

The new solution by the British-based company follows a recent audit by non-profit organization Break Free From Plastic which named Coca-Cola and its rival PepsiCo as the world’s biggest plastic polluters. 

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have continued to dominate the annual audits as the world’s top plastic polluting companies for four years in a row 

Unilever, which is serving as a sponsor for the upcoming COP26 climate conference, has risen to become the third biggest plastic polluter since the annual audits began in 2018.   

Break Free From Plastic’s brand audit drew on data from more than 11,000 volunteers across 45 countries participating in over 440 beach cleanups. 

Nearly 20,000 products found littered on coastlines were Coca-Cola branded—a figure that tops more than the pollution caused by the next two firms, PepsiCo and Unilever, combined.  

The new audit puts into question the authenticity of Coca-Cola’s latest pledge to collect one bottle for every one sold and the effectiveness of the scheme in curbing the company’s enormous plastic footprint. 

Earlier, in a bid to further cut its waste, Coca-Cola unveiled what it termed as “its first-ever beverage bottle made from 100% plant-based plastic, excluding the cap and label.” 

The prototype bottle comes more than a decade after the company’s PlantBottle™ debuted as the world’s first recyclable PET plastic bottle made with up to 30% plant-based material.  

A limited run of approximately 900 of the prototype bottles has been produced in preparation for a wider commercial rollout.  

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