Coca-Cola introduces built-in bottle caps in bid to boost recycling and help prevent litter

Coca-Cola has commenced the introduction of attached bottle caps across its entire portfolio of brands in an effort to boost collection and recycling and help prevent litter, becoming the first major soft drinks company in the UK to do so.

Coca-Cola, in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP GB), says they have taken a major step toward a circular economy for PET bottles as it announces a transition to attached caps.

The move will cover its entire portfolio of brands, including Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, and Lilt beginning in Scotland this May before being rolled out across the rest of the UK.

Coca-Cola says the move will ensure the entire bottle is recycled.

Coca-Cola says all its bottles, including the caps, are already 100% recyclable; however, bottle caps are often littered rather than being recycled. Because the new bottle design means the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening, the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together.

Coca-Cola says it has announced major initiatives both globally and locally to help create a circular economy for plastic, which is key to Coca-Cola’s ambition to create a World Without Waste.

Last year, CCEP announced that it had reached its target of using 100% recycled plastic, excluding caps and labels, in all its 500ml or smaller bottles sold in Great Britain, which it says saves around 29,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

Production of bottles with attached caps will begin today (17 May) at CCEP’s site in East Kilbride, Scotland, meaning that consumers in Scotland and the North of England will start to see new caps attached to 1.5l bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and Diet Coke. Coca-Cola says the switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.

General Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain, Stephen Moorhouse, said: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.

“The move is just one of the steps we’re taking as part of our This is Forward sustainability action plan, which targets six key social and environmental areas where the business has a significant impact and forms a key element of our 2040 net-zero target.

“It’s also one of many steps we’re taking towards our global commitment, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one that we sell by 2025, on our journey towards a World Without Waste.”

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