Coca-cola has shifted its focus to 100% recycled plastic bottles. It is a major shift in their sustainability strategy. In combating the plastic waste that clogs the world’s waterways, the food and drink suppliers has taken a great step towards it.
According to the company resources, the new recycled Coke bottles will reduce the company’s use of new plastic by more than 20% across its portfolio as compared to 2018.
This is a change in the way the company reduces waste said by Coca-Cola’s vice president and general manager of sustainability, Alpha Sutaria. Instead of telling companies they want reusable and recycled options that is not something consumers will stand for anymore.
Coca-cola pledged to use 50% recycled material in bottles and cans by 2030 and in 2018 to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025. The next year, they said that Sweden will become the first market where all its products are sold in fully recycled plastic bottles.
The Coca-Cola Company has come up with the introduction of a new 13.2oz bottle made from 100 percent recycled plastic material (rPET) (Although it doesn’t include the bottle cap or label). In the original Coca-cola brand, this new bottle will be available first. Across a selection of brands in its portfolio, the company has also announced the transition to bottles made from 100 percent recycled plastic material including DASANI and smart water which will be available in various package sizes.
Across the portfolio in North America compared to 2018, Coca-Cola says the shift to rPET will reduce the company’s use of new plastic by more than 20 percent.
In addition to making 20-ounce bottles made of rPET, the company is introducing a new 13.2-ounce bottle made of 100% recycled PET, or rPET. The size change is partly a reaction to consumer feedback that 20-ounce bottles can be too much, but 12-ounce cans be too little. The new bottles will be sold this month in the northeast, Florida, and California, and then nationwide later in the year.
Introducing 20oz bottles made from 100 percent rPET in March and July, respectively, DASANI and smartwater will follow suit. Also made from 100 percent rPET, people in select markets will see a new 13.2oz clear bottle from Sprite. For bottles to be recycled and remade into new bottles, the clear package makes it easier. By the end of the year 2022 all Sprite packaging will transition to clear packaging.
Coca-Cola realizes their unique opportunity and clear responsibility to make a positive difference in the global plastic crisis while bringing themselves closer to their ambitious World Without Waste goals,” said by the Alpa Sutaria, Vice President and General Manager, Sustainability, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company.
Plastic is a valuable packaging resource and they represents meaningful action that focuses not just on what goes into the bottles, but on the innovation of the bottles themselves.
In 2018, to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for everyone the company sells by 2030, the company has pledged that. By 2025, to make 100 percent of packaging recyclable. By 2030, to use 50 percent recycled material in bottles and cans.
The soft drinks giant claims a total of 19 markets globally now offer recycled packaging by introducing 100 percent rPET bottles. Coca-Cola estimated that these innovations represent a 10,000 metric ton reduction in GHG emissions annually – the equivalent of taking 2,120 cars off the road for one year, using internal company tools and analyses.
From plant-based plastic could spell a big change for the rest of the beverage industry is the company’s latest move. It is a bad sign for how the circular economy is going to move first for the champion of the bio-based bottle to essentially be abandoning.
As the latter is still derived from oil, from an emissions standpoint, bio-based bottles are better than recycled. However, the carbon impact of 100% rPET bottles is much lower than regular plastic.
However, including a wide range of different policies that exist at the state and local levels, significant hurdles remain in the recycling market. To implement recycling, companies need to find both local and national ways.
As a food distributor we can get more of the things that are recycled to be turned into clean materials that can be reused, later making it a lot easier, if we could get more recycling to happen.