Goals and achievements towards a world without waste and emissions

Coke has launched a demanding roadmap in what it calls road to zero (waste and packaging). According to data provided by the company itself, the objective is to reduce the use of packaging as far as possible “and we ensure that they are collected to be recycled and reused as part of a circular economy.” In parallel, these actions will reduce its CO2 footprint to reach the goal of being carbon neutral (zero net greenhouse gas emissions) across the value chain by 2040 in Western Europe.

The commitment to eco-innovation

The strategy established by Coca-Cola contemplates several areas of action and different objectives, among them the replacement of the plastic film of the groups of cans with cardboard from sustainable sources, with which 4,000 tons of plastic will be eliminated by the end of this year 2021. Likewise, solutions such as Keel Clip have been launched in the Netherlands in 2020 and in France in 2021 and CanCollar in Spain.

In this scenario, lighter packaging is being created that uses less plastic and has a lower carbon footprint. Colored plastic, difficult to recycle, is no longer used in PET packaging. Another notable action is the redesign of bottle caps, which is expected to save about 3,500 tons of plastic per year.

The company is also recycling virgin plastic with significant achievements, in 2020 41.3% of the PET used in its packaging was rPET or recycled PET. In Belgium, Great Britain and Luxembourg, it has reached 50% rPET in 2020, in France in 2021, in Spain in 2021 in aseptic products, and will reach its target of 50% rPET in all its plastic bottles by 2023, two years from the date initially committed. 100% rPET is currently being used by brands such as Chaudfontaine, SmartWater and Honest in Europe. Fuze Tea will continue its transition to 100% rPET in 2021. It should be noted that Sweden has become the first market in the world to achieve 100% rPET for all locally produced packaging. The Netherlands, Norway and Iceland will reach it by the end of 2021. On the other hand, the percentage of the portfolio that is 100% rPET in Germany is increasing to 70%.

Coca-Cola is investing in long-term supply agreements to stimulate capacity and innovation, as well as in recycling technologies such as depolymerization to increase the supply of rPET. In Western Europe, 98% of packaging is completely recyclable.

Another novel proposal integrated into the plan is to enhance the refillable service, which offers drink on demand and encourages the use of reusable cups / containers by consumers. In some markets this solution already plays a relevant role in the packaging mix and, in 2020, over 12% could be returned and refilled.

The company also works with governments and industry partners to increase container collection tasks, and is testing new digital technologies to improve these systems and meet the 100% collection commitment for the 21st century. Regarding the implementation of technologies, PlantBottle is the first fully recyclable PET bottle made with 30% plant-based material and shared by the firm so that others can use it and thus reduce the use of non-renewable fossil fuels. Another achievement in this area is the collaboration in the creation of a plastic bottle made with 25% material from plastic / marine debris. He also collaborates in creating the first 100% recyclable and bio-based paper bottle.

Regarding investments to improve the circular economy, it supports various recycling start-ups and has launched R&D actions to accelerate innovation in this field.

The bottle of the future will be 100% recyclable

The company is working on the bottle of the future that will be 100% recyclable, made with recycled or renewable material, lighter, monomaterial and with sustainable improvements.

Containers are essential in the food industry, as they allow food and beverages to be transported safely and to preserve all their properties. However, it is crucial that they are designed to have the minimum environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to their recycling, reuse or disposal; if not, they can end up damaging nature in a significant way.

In this scenario, Coca-Cola is committed to sustainability in its business model, and following its global strategy for packaging A World without Waste is acting urgently to reduce the impact packaging has on the planet. So that none ends up in the oceans or the environment.

The purpose is to advance in the elimination of virgin material in the production of its packaging, increasing more and more the amount of recycled material. In this sense, the bottle of the future will be a bottle:

1. 100% recyclable.

2. No virgin material, only 100% recycled or from renewable sources.

3. Lighter.

4. No use of dyes that give color to the bottle.

5. Monomaterial: PET, papel, etc.

6. With sustainable improvements, such as the cap attached to the PET bottle to ensure better recycling

7. With messages of support for recycling.


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