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Population growth and increased consumption of goods and services is placing heightened pressure on the world’s finite natural resources – like oil, coal and gas. It is also simultaneously leading to a significant increase in waste and pollution, including from plastic and packaging.

Strategy

Although all of our bottles and cans are 100% recyclable, they don’t always end up being recycled. There has been considerable progress in the collection and recycling of packaging, but in many of our geographies in Western Europe we still have much to do, together with municipalities, industry partners and consumers, to ensure our packaging is collected and recycled.

We are determined to do more and lead the way towards a circular economy where 100% of our packaging can be collected, reused or recycled, and where none of it ends up as litter or in the oceans. We're also proud that our Action on Packaging targets will help to deliver The Coca-Cola Company's vision for a World Without Waste.

Our Action on Packaging is at the heart of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production as well as UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Life Below Water.

Our packaging plays an essential role in maintaining the quality and safety of our drinks. The glass, aluminium, paper and plastic we use in our packaging depends upon energy and natural resources, but they are also a valuable resource. The bottles and cans we use are fully recyclable and can have a second life, yet too much packaging ends up in the wrong place, including as litter or in our oceans.

To address these issues, society - and our business - needs to move towards a circular economy way of working, where we use new, renewable sources of raw materials, and ensure that those materials which come from finite resources can be re-used and recycled.

 

Actions

We’ll make sure that 100% of our packaging is recyclable or reusable.

We’ll work with local and national partners to collect 100% of our packaging in Western Europe.

We’ll make sure that at least 50% of the material we use for our PET bottles comes from recycled plastic.

We’ll use the reach of our brands to inspire everyone to recycle.

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We’ll lead the way in pioneering sustainable packaging – including renewable materials and smart new ways to reduce packaging waste.

Progress

  • of our packaging was recyclable.

  • of the PET we used in our plastic bottles was recycled PET.

  • of our packaging (PET and glass) was refillable.

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Actions

We work with our packaging suppliers to minimise the impact of our packaging on the environment by designing it for recyclability, continually trying to reduce its weight and increasing its recycled and renewable content. We are also working with customers to improve consumer awareness of recycling, and with local governments and stakeholders to improve local recovery and recycling rates.

Sustainable packaging

What progress have you made in ensuring your packaging is recyclable or reusable?

All of our cans and bottles are already 100% recyclable. By 2025, we will also ensure that our other primary packaging materials, including the cartons and pouches we use for some of our drinks will also be fully recyclable and compatible with local packaging collection infrastructure. This is aligned with The Coca-Cola Company’s global pledge to use 100% reusable or recyclable packaging as part of their World Without Waste strategy.

How much of your packaging is made of recycled and renewable materials?

Using recycled material in new bottles and cans keeps valuable resources in a circular economy, encourages recycling and significantly reduces the carbon footprint of our packaging. However, in many of our markets the availability of food-grade recycled PET remains low, and the cost is often significantly higher than virgin PET.

In 2017, 24.6% of the PET we used was recycled PET (rPET). We will continue to work with our suppliers and invest in the rPET value chain. By 2025 we commit to more than double the amount of rPET we use, so that 50% of all the PET we use will be rPET.  In addition, in 2017, 4.5% of our PET packaging was made from Plant PET. 

Our glass, steel and aluminium is made of 34% recycled content on average. In addition, 14% of our PET packaging and 85% of our glass packaging is refillable.

 

 

How are you reducing the carbon footprint of your packaging?

Packaging is the biggest contributor to our value chain climate impact, representing 39% of our value chain carbon footprint. In 2017, by reducing the weight of our bottles, cans, closures and labels, we saved 2,385 tonnes of packaging material and 5,525 CO2et of carbon. This represented a 0.4% reduction in our packaging carbon footprint.

Collection and litter

How are you going to reach your 100% collection target?

We want all of our packaging to be collected for recycling and have a second life either as a new drinks package or to be used for another purpose. This is an ambitious goal, and achieving it will require close collaboration with local government, industry and consumers to support the right packaging recovery schemes in each of our markets. To this end, we are working with partners such as Citeo in France, Fost Plus in Belgium, Nedvang in the Netherlands, Returpack and REPA in Sweden, Infinitum and Rentpack in Norway and Ecoembes in Spain. In some of our markets, for example, in Great Britain and the Netherlands, we are part of discussions on the introduction or expansion of deposit return schemes, which, if well-designed, could be an effective way to encourage the recovery of more beverage packaging.

How much of your packaging have you collected in 2017?

We are working to understand the calculation methodologies behind the recycling rates for beverage packaging across all of our markets. The data sources that we have used from this year in our packaging recovery and value chain carbon footprint calculations can be found in our methodology sheet. Rates for PET packaging collection can be found in our country data sheets. For more information, please read our methodology document.

What are you doing to address the plastic waste and litter that is already on our streets and in our oceans?

Litter and plastic pollution is a major environmental problem, and as a significant producer of packaging we have a responsibility to help address it. Through local community partnerships across Europe, we support a wide range of clean-up campaigns. These are designed not only to remove litter from the environment, but to help address the source of the problem by influencing consumer behaviour change and raising awareness around littering and recycling. Partnerships include those in Spain and Portugal with the Ecomar Foundation, in Great Britain, with Keep Britain TidyKeep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy; and in Belgium with Mooimakers and Wallonie Plus Propre. See our case studies for more detail on these partnerships.

Inspiring consumers

How are you encouraging consumers to recycle more?

Consumers have an important role to play in ensuring that our packaging is sorted and recycled and does not end up as litter or in the oceans. We will use our business and our brands to inspire everyone to help us recycle and avoid pollution.

Across our markets, we already support a wide variety of consumer recycling and anti-litter campaigns and we will aim to do much more to use our brands to inspire consumers to recycle their beverage packaging. Our recent A Bottle Love Story integrated marketing campaign, created using recycled packaging, and our Across the Tracks campaign launched in 2018 in the Netherlands and Sweden, are some examples of how we intend to do more in the future. For more information, please see the case study.

Our research shows that many of our consumers are unaware that they can recycle our packaging. To raise awareness, we’ve begun to include a clear “please recycle me” message on many of our packs, including bottles and cans as well as our secondary packaging. The message was introduced in Great Britain in 2017, and will be rolled out across Western Europe in 2018.

Design innovation

What role does sustainable design innovation play in your efforts to reduce packaging waste?

Through The Coca-Cola Company, we have led the way in introducing rPET into our packaging and brought PlantBottleTM, the first fully recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants, to market with over 40 billion bottles produced worldwide. We want to go further, supporting innovation into new packaging materials and new ways to reduce the need for packaging and minimise waste.

We are also reviewing other ways that we can serve customers - for example, through our trial of Freestyle smart fountain dispensers at the University of Reading (see case study). Following the success of this pilot, we are reviewing opportunities to use this solution in other environments.

Citeo : Improving packaging collection in France

France

We’re part of an exciting new project with producer responsibility organisation Citeo to collect 26 million additional plastic bottles and 6 million additional cans in Paris by 2019; as part of our efforts to collect 100% of our packaging by 2025. Started in November 2017, the programme involves a trial of nearly 3,000 new collection stations and sorting points, including reverse vending machines. By improving urban recycling infrastructure, the project aims to radically increase the amount of drinks packaging collected on the go.

A Bottle Love Story: Influencing consumer behaviour

In 2017, as part of our target to use our brands to encourage consumers to recycle, together with The Coca-Cola Company, we launched the first ever ad made out of 100% recyclable packaging, "A Bottle Love Story".

The integrated marketing campaign, which appeared in cinemas, television, and online, tells the story of two plastic bottles who fall in love as they meet over and over again through recycling. The aim was to highlight to consumers that our packaging is valuable, and that it can be recycled directly into more packaging.

The entire advertisement was made out of recyclable material, including more than 1,500 Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater and Honest bottles and cans; and was targeted to reach more than 35 million Britons alone by the end of 2017.

This campaign has been followed in 2018 by another, called Across the Tracks. The commercial, launched so far in the Netherlands and Sweden, will be shown in cinemas around the Netherlands, along with a recycling message on Coca-Cola packaging this summer.

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Ecomar Beach Clean Up

Spain and Portugal

In 2017, we supported a number of campaigns focused on beach and coastal clean-ups. In Spain and Portugal, approximately 360 children took part in a project to clean up litter around the Iberian peninsula, launched by CCEP in partnership with the Ecomar Foundation, collecting 1,100 kilos of waste. For more information, please click here.

 

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Anti-Litter Programmes

Great Britain

In Great Britain, we took part in a number of major clean-up campaigns in England, Wales, and Scotland in partnership with Keep Britain TidyKeep Wales Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful. With Keep Britain Tidy, we worked together to support the Great British Spring Clean, the nation’s biggest community litter clean-up event. More than 300,000 people removed over 1,500 tonnes of litter from communities, rivers and beaches. Alongside this work, we are also working with Keep Britain Tidy's Centre for Social Innovation to research beach litter and littering behaviour at locations around the country; in order to reduce the problem in the long term.

In Scotland, we work with Keep Scotland Beautiful to combat roadside littering, which is a major problem in Scotland with 83% of roadsides affected. Together with petrol retailers, customers such as McDonald’s, and car rental companies, we have supported an outdoor anti-litter poster campaign, and supported the distribution of car litter bags, and engaged with policy makers on roadside littering enforcement legislation.

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Q8 and Wallonie Plus Propre

Belgium

In Belgium, we were involved in a campaign to address the problem of drivers littering around petrol stations, in partnership with our customer Q8, and the organisations Mooimakers and Wallonie Plus Propre. Bins in petrol stations around the Walloon region were refurbished, and drivers were asked to make a commitment to fighting litter. We also ran an outdoor anti-litter and recycling poster campaign in partnership with Mooimakers, and hosted our annual Coca-Cola Recycling tour, a litter clean-up event involving 250 employees across all of our sites in Belgium. For more information, please click here.

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Plastic Whale

Netherlands

The Plastic Whale Foundation wants to involve as many people as possible to reach their goal for plastic-free waters. To create awareness amongst youngsters, The Coca-Cola Foundation supports the Plastic Fishing Programme for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. The Plastic Fishing Programme takes participants out onto the Amsterdam canals, and collects the plastic waste that can be found there. The waste is then recycled, and turned into further boats, which can be used to collect more waste, and provide further education to participants.

Gestes Propres

France

In France, CCEP supported Gestes Propres, which aims to prevent litter through working together with citizens, local authorities and other stakeholders. We supported their annual campaign, which took place in over 1,000 municipalities in 2017, together with The Ministry for Ecology and the French Mayors' Association. Citizens across France were given waste bags and an awareness kit, supported by a national awareness campaign, with particular focus on coastal regions, forests and mountain areas.

Deposit Return Scheme

Norway

Our goal to collect 100% of our packaging by 2025 is an ambitious goal, and achieving it will require close collaboration with local government, industry and consumer to support the right packaging recovery schemes in each of our markets. In some of our markets, for example in Great Britain and the Netherlands, there are discussions about the introduction or expansion of deposit return schemes, which, if well-designed, could be an effective way to encourage the recovery of more beverage packaging. We already have deposit return schemes in place in a few of our markets - including in Norway, which since 1999, has had a deposit return scheme in place for non-refillable bottles and cans. The scheme, operated by the joint beverage industry/grocer retailer partnership Infinitum, has a deposit of 1 Norwegian Kroner on 500 ml bottles, and a 2.5 Kroner deposit on larger bottles, which shoppers can claim back through a discount on their shopping or a charity donation, when they return their bottles. All stores which sell bottles and cans are required to collect the empty packaging, and are provided with a handling fee through the scheme. In Norway, 95% of bottle and can packaging is collected with over 1 billion bottles and cans collected through Infinitum's 15,000 collection points.

University of Reading - Freestyle pilot

Great Britain

Recently, we introduced Freestyle at the University of Reading in Great Britain, as part of a trial to gain a better understanding of consumer behaviours and attitudes towards refillable drink packaging.

In September 2017, we installed seven Freestyle smart fountain dispensers around the university. Staff and students purchase reusable bottles with RFID chips, pre-paying for a term’s worth of drinks. They can then use the machines to refill the bottles whenever they like, choosing from over 100 drinks on offer.

More than 2,300 reusable bottles have been sold since September 2017, with students refilling each bottle 24 times on average in the first 10 week term. We are now looking to see how this solution could be used in other environments.