Coca-Cola on driving up recycled content of plastic bottles

In Europe, CCEP had been targeting for at least 50% of material in PET bottles to come from rPET by 2023: reaching this goal two years early in 2021 (52.9% of plastic used to make PET bottles was made from rPET). This is actually above the average of 42% recycled content across its portfolio (PET, glass and aluminum).

In Australia, 59.8% of plastic used to create bottles is rPET and in New Zealand this figure is 42.3%.

“Our increased use of rPET in Europe has saved around 34,000 tonnes of CO2e since 2019,”​ says CCEP. 

“All locally produced bottles in Sweden, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway and single-serve bottles across Belgium, Germany, GB, Australia and New Zealand are now 100% rPET. In France some brands are already in 100% rPET bottles and we are making further transitions.”

In 2022, the company is introducing rPET in its 390ml carbonated soft drinks bottles in Indonesia, using material from a new PET recycling plant (a joint venture with Dynapack) and move to 100% rPET in single-serve bottles in Fiji.

“We are working with suppliers to drive higher levels of recycled content and put targets in place,”​ says the company, which became Coca-Cola’s largest bottler, covering 29 countries, after Coca-Cola European Partner’s acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil last year.

Growing supply of rPET

But having a sufficient supply of suitable rPET remains a key challenge for boosting rPET content, notes CCEP in its 2021 Sustainability Stakeholder Report.

“Demand for high quality food grade rPET currently exceeds supply. We are investing in long term partnerships with recyclers to stimulate their investment to increase recycling capacity, and investing directly.”

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