Buzzwords explained: Renewable

‘Renewable’ has become synonymous with energy, but it can apply to anything that can be replenished – like the plastic that we use to produce our bottles. Find out more and how Coca-Cola Great Britain is using renewable materials in packaging…

What does renewable mean?
The term ‘renewable’ applies to materials and resources that don’t run out at their source and can be manufactured quickly enough to keep up with demand. It’s commonly used for energy, where sources are either renewable (wind, solar, water) or non-renewable (coal, oil, gas). Most renewable materials are natural and raw, such as bamboo, cotton, hemp and beeswax.

How is Coca-Cola Great Britain using renewable materials?
We’ve always been committed to reducing the environmental impact of our bottles and cans, and our new sustainable packaging announcement shows how we plan to recover and recycle all of our packaging. Part of our strategy is working on new innovations to help develop sustainable packaging, including renewable materials.

We launched in 2009, PlantBottle™ is the first-ever fully recyclable plastic bottle made partially from plants, rather than fossil fuels. Instead of using petroleum (a non-renewable energy source), PlantBottles are produced using sugar cane residue, which significantly reduces the carbon dioxide emissions.

In Great Britain, we use PlantBottles™ for all our Honest and glaceau smartwater bottles. So far, more than 35 billion PlantBottles™ have been distributed globally, saving around 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Find out more about PlantBottle™

Is plastic a renewable resource?
The reason plastic is so widely used is because it has so many benefits. It’s cheap to produce, can be moulded into any shape, plus it’s light and safe to use. If it’s properly disposed of, plastic can be recovered, recycled and reused – either as new packaging or other uses such as fibres and fabric. This makes it a renewable material. Recycled plastic also uses 60% less energy than new plastic to produce, so the more we can recover to recycle, the more sustainable a source plastic will be.

Learn more about our new sustainable packaging strategy