Coca-Cola to use 100% rPET bottles for water and tea in Western Europe

Move to 100% rPET for Honest, Glacéau Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine expected to remove nearly 10,000 tons of virgin plastic in 2020. Another initiative sees Sprite in clear, easy-to-recycle bottles.

Coca-Cola’s Honest, Glacéau Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will all be sold in bottles made from 100% recycled PET.
Coca-Cola’s Honest, Glacéau Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will all be sold in bottles made from 100% recycled PET.

Coca-Cola, in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners, announced today that its Honest, GlacéauSmartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will all be sold in bottles made from 100% recycled PET.They will transition between the end of 2019 and 2020, replacing 9,000 tonnes (9,920 tons) of virgin plastic per year across Western Europe*.

This move supports Coca-Cola’s commitment that, by 2025, at least half of the plastic used in its PET bottles across Western Europe will come from recycled sources. In 2019, Coca-Cola will use approximately 60,000 tonnes (66,139 tons) of recycled plastic in these markets, removing the equivalent amount of virgin plastic.

Says Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director for Coca-Cola Western Europe, “This is a significant step for our business. From 2020, wherever you buy these brands in our Western European markets, you will find them in a bottle that is entirely made from recycled plastic. This is a clear signal of our ambition—we aim to meet and exceed our target of using 50 percent rPET across our total portfolio by 2025.

“Both Honest and GlacéauSmartwater have a huge following in the U.S., whilst being relatively young brands in Europe. We have ambitious growth plans for both of these brands, as we continue to broaden our portfolio to offer people different drinks to meet changing tastes and lifestyles—and we want to grow them sustainably.”

Coca-Cola is also announcing that it is transitioning Sprite from a green PET bottle to a clear PET package, which can more easily be recycled bottle to bottle.

Says Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Coca-Cola European Partners, “We know people have high expectations of companies to make the products they love in a sustainable way, and we’re committed to meeting those expectations. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that every bottle or can we sell is collected, recycled, and reused. By moving Sprite from a green bottle to a clear bottle, the material can easily be recycled and used again to make another bottle.”

Coca-Cola began using recycled PET in its plastic bottles in the 1990s.More recently, the company has invested in enhanced recycling technologies to improve the availability of food-grade rPET for use in its bottles. This technology allows PET to be created from low-value plastic waste that previously couldn’t be recycled into bottles.

Explains Van Gompel, “These new technologies expand the types of plastic waste streams that can be recycled back into bottles, allowing a broader range of collected materials to become part of the circular economy. It also enables us to use collection streams that were normally going to incineration or landfill.Investments in scale-up technologies such as these help us accelerate our use of recycled plastic in our bottles.’

*All references to Western Europe refer to markets where Coca-Cola European Partners is active, including Andorra, Belgium, continental France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

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