Coca-Cola Great Britain, General Manager Jon Woods talks about sustainable packaging, recycling and reducing litter and what the company’s position on these issues really is.

Our packaging is really valuable to us – it’s essential for our business and for people to be able to enjoy our drinks. Therefore we are focused on how we can use less and recover and recycle more.

That starts with what goes into our packaging in the first place. All of our plastic packaging is 100 per cent recyclable. It sounds simple, but unfortunately not everything out there is. We’ve worked hard to achieve this.

We also use as much recycled and renewable material in our packaging as we can.  We use recycled plastic– at the moment around 25 per cent and plant based material too – we call that PlantBottle™.  That means that if you recycle the bottle in your hand it will most likely enjoy a new life as another bottle.

I don’t want to see any of our packaging discarded on the road side or ending up in the ocean after our drinks have been enjoyed. That’s why we’ve supported recycling and anti-litter initiatives across the country for many years.

We have met with government departments in the UK and Scotland to talk about this issue because we think it’s an important topic. Businesses and many other organisations, including campaign groups, meet with government to discuss complex issues like this, and our experience from around the world means we have valuable insight to share.

We have also discussed a deposit scheme in Scotland and have had constructive conversations with government and NGOs. Around the world we have supported and endorsed deposit schemes where we believe they are well designed and managed and will work efficiently to improve recycling rates. 

In Scotland we do have genuine concerns about the impact of a deposit scheme on the existing household recycling system and how the system would work in practice but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see more packaging collected and recycled. 

We recognise litter is a problem and it requires additional action from industry, government and communities. We will continue to be involved in these conversations and play our part in addressing this important challenge.

Jon Woods is General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland. Read more about our sustainability initiatives here.