This means Coca-Cola in the UK is now using more than 21,000 tonnes of recycled plastic per year, with its rPET usage increasing by a further 25%


Coca-Cola bottles in the UK will carry new labels notifying consumers of the change and encouraging them to recycle the bottle (Credit: Pixabay)

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced all of its plastic bottles across core brands sold in the UK are now made with 50% recycled plastic.

This means Coca-Cola in Great Britain is now using more than 21,000 tonnes of recycled plastic per year, which has seen the company increase its rPET usage by a further 25%.

Bottles will now carry new labels in the UK, notifying consumers of the change and encouraging them to recycle.

CCEP Great Britain’s general manager Stephen Moorhouse said: “This milestone marks an important step towards our ambition across western Europe to remove all non-recycled plastic from our bottles.

“One of the key challenges the industry currently faces is that there isn’t enough food-grade recycled plastic locally available in the UK to switch to 100% rPET across our entire range.

“There needs to be more high-quality recycled plastic produced, so it’s vital to make sure we collect more bottles in an efficient way, and stop it ending up as waste.

“Although all our bottles have been 100% recyclable for many years, too many are still not being recycled. That’s why we support the introduction of a well-designed deposit return scheme (DRS), consistent across Great Britain and coupled with investment in infrastructure.

“This will really encourage more people to recycle and will help more bottles to be collected in a clean, efficient way so that they can be remade into new bottles again.”


Coca-Cola’s 50% recycled plastic in UK bottles is ‘good news’ for industry, says charity

The company’s latest announcement comes as part of the business’s long-term investment in the UK’s circular economy, following its involvement in establishing the country’s biggest bottle-to-bottle plastic reprocessing facility in 2012.

CCEP has recently taken another important step towards its goal of 100% recycled plastic in all its bottles by funding CuRe Technology – a recycling start-up that seeks to provide a new lease of life for difficult-to-recycle plastic polyester waste.

In the UK, Coca-Cola has worked closely with circular economy charity the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) for 20 years.

Coca-Cola UK recycled plastic
Some of Coca-Cola’s core brands in the UK include Fanta, Coke Zero and Sprite (Credit: Coca-Cola European Partners)

As part of this, it jointly invested in Recycle Zone on-the-go recycling facilities in 2008 and is one of the founder members of the UK Plastics Pact.

WRAP’s strategic engagement manager Helen Bird said: “It takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared with using virgin material, and it’s always important to remember that using recycled content in the manufacture of new products and packaging is the whole point of recycling.

“Not only does it mean that less new plastic is being used, but it also ensures that it is being kept in the packaging recycling system and out of the environment.

“We are seeing momentum building on the use of recycled content in plastic packaging and this announcement by Coca-Cola, one of our founding UK Plastics Pact members, is good news for the environment and good news for industry.”