Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced it will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with cardboard for its can multipacks across Western Europe, removing approximately 4,000 tonnes (4,400 U.S. tons) of single-use plastic per year across the region. This is the latest move in Coca-Cola’s efforts to meet its Action on Packaging commitments to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025
Plastic shrink wrap is used to keep individual products together while they are being transported and sold to customers as multipacks. Says CCEP, shrink wrap can be harder to recycle than some other plastics, and many markets do not have collection schemes in place that allow shrink wrap to be recycled. As a result, much of it currently ends up in landfill or as packaging waste.
The shrink wrap for CCEP’s multipacks will be replaced with 100% recyclable, sustainably sourced cardboard, with either an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certification. As part of the process to shift multipack cans to cardboard packaging, CCEP has conducted extensive R&D work to identify the appropriate cardboard packaging format for each multipack size. The company’s longer-term goal is to make all the secondary packaging in its supply chain as sustainable as possible, by working with its suppliers on innovative technical solutions.
Says Joe Franses,Vice-President, Sustainabilityat Coca-Cola European Partners,“We know that consumers are seeking more sustainable alternativesfor packaging.We are committed to removing all unnecessary single-use plastic from our products, and by moving our can multipacks to cardboard, we are helping people to enjoy our products knowing that the packaging won’t end up as waste or litter in rivers and oceans.”
The move directly supports Coca-Cola’s Action on Packaging commitments to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025—a pledge outlined in its sustainability action plan for Western Europe, This is Forward.
In June 2019, in Western Europe, Coca-Cola announced that its Honest, GLACÉAU Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will all be sold in bottles made from 100% rPET, replacing 9,000 tonnes (9,920 tons) of virgin plastic per year across Western Europe.
Coca-Cola has also committed to ensure that at least 50% of the material used for PET bottles comes from recycled plastic. In 2018, 98% of Coca-Cola’s packaging in Western Europe was recyclable, andjust under a third (27.6%) of the plastic used came from recycled sources.CCEP is also collaborating with several partners, including Loop Industries, a technology innovator in sustainable plastic that turns low-value plastic waste into high-quality PET.