Buzzwords explained: Recycling

Recycling is a part of everyday life in the UK. Here’s how recycled material can benefit the environment and how the Coca-Cola system is committed to encouraging more people to recycle…

What is recycling?
A process that involves treating or processing used materials so they are safe to be reused. Most local authorities around the UK have a well-established household recycling system. This is a great way to collect packaging materials such as cardboard, glass, plastic, paper and aluminium – all of which can be recycled and reused in new packaging or made into other items.

Recycled material has a much lower carbon footprint, and recycled plastic uses around two thirds less energy than new plastic to make.

Learn more about recycling in the UK from Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners

How much recycled material does Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) use?
On average, CCEP's aluminium cans contain around 49% recycled aluminium, their plastic bottles contain around 25% recycled plastic, and there’s approximately 56% recycled glass in the glass bottles. But those are just the figures today.

CCEP want to double the amount of recycled plastic in all their bottles from 25% to 50% by 2020. This will make them the largest user of recycled plastic in the UK food and drink industry.

Over the past five years, CCEP have used around 10,000 tonnes of recycled plastic for their drinks packaging in Great Britain. Based on that amount, by the time they reach their goal of 50% recycled plastic by 2020, they will be using 20,000 tonnes of recycled plastic per year – that’s about the same as one million bottles.

Find out more about Coca-Cola Great Britain's latest recycling campaign: Love Story

The latest recycling technology
CCEP's new long-term target of using 50% recycled plastic in their bottles is based on our partnership with company CleanTech, which operates the UK’s largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire.

They’ve invested heavily in this facility to double Great Britain’s production of recycled plastic. All the recycled plastic they use is also sourced from within the UK – even though currently it’s less cost effective than buying new material.