Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain as today unveiled its new sustainable packaging strategy in which it says it aims to double the amount of recycled plastic in all of its bottles to 50 percent by 2020, as well as trialling an “incentive-based scheme” by testing an “on-the-go bottle collection and reward programme”.
The company will also launch its biggest ever consumer communications campaign to convey the importance of recycling and it says it is “committed to championing reform of the packaging recycling system in Great Britain”.
Coca-Cola European Partners’ new GB sustainable packaging strategy sets out an ambition for its GB business unit to work with local and national partners to recover all its packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter. At present, only 70% of the cans and 57% of the plastic bottles used each year are recycled.
Through its new GB sustainable packaging strategy, the company sets out the key actions it will take, and the areas where it will look to work with others, to improve the recovery and recycling of drinks packaging, and to reduce littering in Great Britain. It is focused on three key areas:
Continuing to innovate to ensure its packaging is as sustainable as possible
It plans to double the amount of recycled plastic in every one of its PET bottles over the next three years – from the current average of 25% to 50% by 2020. To achieve this ambitious target it will continue its long term partnership with Clean Tech, which operates Europe’s largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire, supporting the circular economy in Great Britain and allowing recycled bottles to return to shop shelves as part of new packs in as little as six weeks.
Investing in consumer communication to promote recycling and encourage behaviour change
As part of the new strategy, Coca-Cola will use the power of its brands to inspire more consumers to recycle. Later this month, the company will launch a multi-million pound communications campaign designed to inspire more people to recycle. The campaign will reach 35 million Britons by the end of this year. The company will also be putting a new recycling message on bottles this year and promoting recycling to six million people at festivals and events.
Championing reform of the UK recycling system to ensure more packaging is recovered and recycled
The company will continue to work in partnership with others – including the governments of Great Britain – to improve the current packaging recycling system. To support the growth of the circular economy in Great Britain, the company will champion well-designed new interventions that have the potential to increase packaging collection and recycling rates, including stronger recycling targets, deposit return schemes and extended producer responsibility.
In addition, as part of its commitment to support DEFRA’s new working group on voluntary and economic incentives to reduce littering, CCEP will seek to advance its own knowledge of how consumers are motivate by an incentive-based scheme by testing an on-the-go bottle collection and reward programme. This test will examine the behavioural impact of reward schemes and help inform any future national approaches to reducing litter and increasing collection and recycling rates. More details on these trials will be announced later this year.
Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, said: “Our goal is to work with local and national partners to ensure all of our packaging is recovered and recycled. Our new strategy sets out how we will start work to achieve that. We have focused on the actions we can take as a business – such as our ability to communicate to consumers on the importance of recycling – as well as the areas where we want to work in close collaboration with others to reduce litter and increase the recovery and recycling of plastic bottles.
Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP, said: “To have a brand as well-known and with the reach of Coca-Cola actively encouraging more people to recycle is a really positive step which we welcome. A commitment that half of all the plastic they use will be recycled plastic, understanding that this will cost the business more, shows real leadership in the industry and provides the essential market for recovered materials. Initiatives like this are much needed if we are to change consumer behaviour and recover and recycle more – WRAP and Recycle Now are excited to be working with them on this. We need more big brands to help inspire people to do their part.”