Coca-Cola to reduce amount of virgin plastics in packaging

In Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE; Atlanta, GA) latest Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2014/15, the company announced that it aims to reduce the amount of virgin plastics that go into its packaging, by upping the use of rPET or renewable plastics to 40%. The report also mentioned that 34% of the PET purchased in 2014 by CCE was rPET. The major goal of the report is to showcase the progress made during 2014 and to launch updated Sustainability Plan commitments.

The report said: We have also begun investigating the use of renewable sources of PET in our packaging. In particular, since 2009, we have used PlantBottle packaging which is PlantPET derived from sugar cane and molasses. The resulting material looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lower carbon footprint. Work is now ongoing with partners to create the other key molecular component of PlantBottle from renewable materials. We will continue to review our use of PlantPET, as well as other renewable materials, as part of our overall commitment in the years ahead.”

Last year, 27.8% of CCE’s PET bottles were PlantBottle, used primarily in SmartWater in Great Britain and in 500ml Coke PET bottles in Norway and Sweden.The company also said it takes about 60% less energy to produce recycled PET (rPET) than virgin plastic, making rPET the second greatest opportunity they have to reduce its packaging carbon emissions.

“We are committed to a long-term solution for sourcing high quality rPET for our packaging. As a result, in Great Britain, we have established a long-term supply agreement with ECO Plastics. In France, we have invested in plastics reprocessing at Infineo Recycling, our joint venture with APPE, which produces enough high quality rPET to cover our requirements in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.”

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