Coca-Cola launches recycled plastic bottles in two more markets in its commitment to eliminate virgin oil-based plastic

EUROPE – Coca-Cola European Partners has enhanced its commitment to sustainability by announcing that it will eliminate virgin oil-based plastic by transitioning to 100% recycled plastic (rPET) bottles in two more markets.

The transition, which will take place in the Netherlands and Norway, marks an important move towards a closed-loop recycling system that will be supported by local deposit return schemes in both countries.

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The news follows Coca-Cola’s announcement that its Swedish branch would become the first market to switch to 100% rPET in the first quarter of 2020.

From October 2020, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands will produce 100% rPET small bottles for brands including Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Larger bottles will follow in 2021, making it the second market to move its locally produced portfolio to 100% rPET.

“Coca-Cola in Western Europe is a firm supporter of the implementation of well-designed deposit return schemes across Europe, recognising the role they can play as part of local, closed-loop recycling system,”

Joe Franses – vice president sustainability, Coca-Cola European Partners

“Today’s announcement that Coca-Cola European Partners Netherlands and Coca-Cola European Partners Norway are making the switch to 100% rPET marks a vitally important step forwards on our journey to eliminating new virgin oil-based plastic across all our plastic bottles within a decade,” Joe Franses, vice president sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners said.

“Crucially, this announcement provides a compelling case for the role that deposit return schemes can play in the creation of local circular economies for beverage packaging. Markets with well-designed DRS such as those in Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway not only have high collection rates but also have the capacity to collect a higher grade of material with less contamination.”

The team hopes that the switch in the Netherlands will help to eliminate more than 10,000 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic each year, reducing the company’s footprint by 21%.

In addition, Coca-Cola Norway will transition to 100% rPET during the first half of next year. The transition will remove approximately 4,300 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic a year, reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 28%.

“Coca-Cola in Western Europe is a firm supporter of the implementation of well-designed deposit return schemes across Europe, recognising the role they can play as part of local, closed-loop recycling system,” added Franses.

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“We also remain committed to supporting innovative packaging and recycling technologies to help us to reach our target of 50% recycled content across all our plastic bottles by 2023.”

This will result in the reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles by 21% per year compared to the rPET level before the transition.

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