We’re taking urgent action to reduce the impact of our packaging. We have a responsibility to help tackle the packaging waste crisis and understand the urgency and complexity around plastic pollution. By reimagining the way we do business, we are progressively moving away from a linear model and the waste it creates. We’re using less packaging to reduce our use of natural resources and our carbon emissions.
Systemic change needs collective action. So we partner with wider industry, government and NGOs to advance on our journey towards a World Without Waste.
Our focus is clear: reduce, reuse, recycle. We need to find innovative ways of doing more with less. That includes accelerating innovation to deliver drinks in new ways, like reusable packaging and smart dispensers. And it needs to happen across every part of the packaging journey. From the design of the packaging itself, to the way in which it’s made, used and treated after use. We are removing materials where we can and making sure all the packaging we do use is collected, recycled and reused in a low carbon circular system.
We are redesigning and reimagining every aspect of how we deliver drinks, to be as resource efficient as possible. And ensure nothing is wasted.
Less new materials. Less greenhouse gases. And less waste.
Our actions support UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production and Goal 14: Life below water.
Our progress in 2022
of our primary packaging in Europe was recyclable
of the PET used in our plastic bottles was recycled PET
of our PET bottles were 100% rPET
Recycled plastic (rPET) milestones
Our strategy is simple – we will reduce our use of packaging where we can and ensure that the equivalent of all the packaging we do use is collected, reused or recycled so that it does not end up as waste or litter. We aim to achieve this through the key pillars of our packaging strategy:
Removing unnecessary packaging
We’re removing all unnecessary packaging, including via lightweighting and removing hard to recycle packaging. And we’ll make sure that 100% of our packaging is recyclable or reusable.
In 2021, 98.3% of our packaging was recyclable. By 2025, we will ensure that all of our primary packaging, including the cartons and pouches we use for some of our drinks, is 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 its World Without Waste strategy.
More about reducing and removing packaging
Replacing plastic with cardboard
In 2021, we continued to roll out CanCollar® packaging technology in the Balearic Islands in Spain, KeelClip™ in France and a carton solution in GB, using 100% sustainably sourced, fully recyclable cardboard. These programmes enabled us to remove around 2,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic from our secondary packaging.
Making our packs lighter to save energy and resources
We have a long-standing programme to reduce the weight of our packaging and optimise the packaging material we use.
In 2008, a 500ml PET bottle weighed 28.9g. Today, thanks to innovative work with our suppliers, the same bottle now weighs just 19.9g, and our new lighter weight bottle necks will reduce this further. Read more here.
We have also continued to shift our can portfolio from steel to aluminium in Europe. As aluminium is lighter than steel, this will contribute to a reduction of about 94,000 tonnes of CO2e by 2024. In 2021, in Europe over one billion cans were lightweighted, saving 1,165 tonnes of aluminium and 6,800 tonnes of CO₂e. In our API markets, all the cans we use are aluminium.
Innovating in refillable and dispensed solutions
We’re innovating in refillable and dispensed solutions as a key strategic route to eliminate packaging waste and reduce our carbon footprint.
By 2030, The Coca-Cola Company aims to have at least 25% of all beverages globally across its portfolio of brands sold in returnable glass or plastic bottles, or refillable containers through traditional fountain or Coca-Cola Freestyle™ dispensers. In 2021, together with The Coca-Cola Company, we initiated a cross system approach to drive innovation in refillable packaging and dispensed delivery models, offering consumers new ways to enjoy our drinks.
More about refillable packaging and dispensers
Trialling refillable packaging
We’re working in partnership with Loop™, a zero waste shopping platform, which uses refillable packaging that customers return after use, resulting in less plastic waste. In 2021, we extended an online trial into 10 stores with Tesco in GB, and 20 with Carrefour in France with plans to expand to 500 stores in 2025.
Fill your own reusable container from Freestyle
We’re piloting reusable on-the-go drinks solutions, enabling consumers to buy or bring their own container to fill from one of our Freestyle dispensers. The pilot will help us better understand how consumers reuse refillable beverage containers, and the potential of these solutions to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Link to full story
Achieving 100% collection
We aim to collect the equivalent of all our packaging so it can be recycled and reused.
We are committed to accelerating our work to support an economy where packaging materials are collected and recycled in all our markets. We are working with national and local governments and stakeholders across all our countries of operation to develop and fund collection solutions that provide good quality recycled plastic, while also reducing packaging waste, including packaging that is littered or goes to landfill or incineration.
More about packaging collection
Collecting through packaging return schemes
In markets where collection infrastructure is often well developed, like Europe, Australia and New Zealand, we support legislation for well designed, industry-run beverage packaging return schemes.
Schemes are in place in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Iceland, Germany and some states in Australia. We continue to advocate for well-designed Deposit Return Schemes in our other European markets. In New Zealand, we have been actively engaged with the Government for over two years on the development of a Container Return Scheme (CRS) and welcome the announcement of a proposal to implement a nationwide, industry-led scheme by 2025.
Taking voluntary action to collect packs and support communities
In Indonesia, collection is mainly driven by the informal waste sector, so our approach is centred on social enterprise and community support. As part of our plastic recycling plant joint venture with Dynapack we established Mahija Parahita Nusantara. As a non-profit foundation, it works to improve the lives and welfare of 3,500 waste pickers working in the informal waste sector through the development of collection micro-enterprises. The waste pickers collect high quality feedstock for the recycling plant. We assist the informal waste picker communities with health checks, living staples and education.
Using the power of our brands to encourage recycling
We continue to use the power of our brands to encourage consumers to recycle our packaging via on-pack messages. In 2021, as part of the move to 100% rPET bottles in Norway, all labels were updated with a clear recycling message to consumers. In New Zealand, water brand Pump continues to run a “Refresh, Recycle, Repeat” marketing campaign and on pack labelling.
Increasing recycled content
Using recycled material in our bottles and cans keeps valuable resources in a circular economy and reduces our use of new materials including fossil-based plastic.
We’ll make sure that 100% of our primary packaging is recyclable or reusable. We’ll also make sure that at least 50% of the material we use for our plastic bottles in Europe comes from recycled plastic by 2023, and by 2025 in other markets.
We are investing in new technologies, like enhanced recycling, and engaging in partnerships to ensure a reliable supply of high quality rPET in all our markets.
A circular economy for plastic
We are moving towards 100% recycled or renewable PET in our plastic bottles, replacing our use of new fossil-based plastic as we do so. This is one small step in a much bigger industry journey towards plastic packaging circularity.
Read more about of vision for circular plastic
More about sustainable packaging
How we’re using recycled plastic in our bottles
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. We continue to make further transitions to rPET including in France, Indonesia and Fiji. Our increased use of rPET in Europe has saved around 34,000 tonnes of CO2e since 2019.
Scaling up plastic recycling capacity
Demand for high quality food grade plastic currently exceeds supply. We are investing in long term partnerships with recyclers to stimulate their investment to scale up recycling capacity, and making our own direct investments.
Read more about how we're scaling up recycling capacity here
Investing and innovating for the future
Innovation is an important pillar in our strategy. We’re investing in the development of new technologies to support our plan. We’re pioneering sustainable packaging – including refillable and dispensed delivery models, new ways to reduce packaging waste and renewable materials.
Our Coca-Cola system Sustainable Packaging Office (SPO) streamlines all the technical and exploratory sustainable packaging work across our geographies, accelerates our innovation and supports progress towards our goals.
CCEP Ventures, our innovation investment fund, supports the SPO by providing early stage funding to technologically advanced companies and start ups that, among other things, enable us to explore new ways to bring sustainable packaging innovation to life. Find out more about our investments.