Action on Packaging

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. 

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 materials we use are fully recyclable and can have a second life, yet too much of our 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.

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 a lot 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.

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

More about our commitments

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

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. We’ve already started, and our recent A Bottle Love Story advert in Great Britain is a great example of how we intend to do more in the future.

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

We led the way in introducing recycled PET into our packaging and brought PlantBottle, the first fully recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants, to market with over 40 billion bottles 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’ll make sure that 100% of our 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 recovery infrastructure. This is aligned with The Coca-Cola Company’s global pledge to use 100% reusable or recyclable packaging made in October 2017 as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

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

Our packaging is a valuable resource and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure that it does not end up as litter or in our rivers and oceans. In all of our markets in Western Europe, we are partners in local household collection or deposit return schemes and in cooperation with these schemes we will lead the way in driving a step-change in packaging collection, especially in markets where recycling rates have stalled.  We want all of our packaging to be collected for recycling and have a second life either as new drinks package or another purpose. We know that this is an ambitious goal and we will work in close collaboration with local government, industry and consumers to support the right packaging recovery schemes in each of our markets and help collect all of our packaging.

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

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 2016, 21 percent of the PET we purchased was recycled PET.  We will continue to work with our suppliers and invest in the recycled PET value chain. By 2023 we aim to more than double the amount of recycled PET we use, so that 50% of all the PET we purchase will be recycled PET.