Buzzwords explained: Sustainable

At Coca-Cola Great Britain recently launched our new sustainable packaging strategy, which sets out our ambitious and long-term targets for a sustainable future. A big part of these plans is our commitment to helping to reduce litter and increase the amount of packaging recycled. But what is sustainability?

What is sustainability?
Sustainability is about meeting current demands for resources without compromising future generations. It’s basically a balancing act between the present and the future.

There are many different ways that the term sustainability is used – from energy to food production. We’re committed to making our packaging as sustainable as possible. But whichever way you look at it, sustainability involves social, environmental and economic responsibilities.

What is our ambition for a sustainable future?
At Coca-Cola Great Britain, we’ve been making lots of changes to improve the sustainability of our packaging, including:

  • doubling the amount of recycled plastic in our bottles from 25% to 50% by 2020 – this will make us the largest user of recycled plastic in the UK food and drink industry
  • making all our bottles and cans 100% recyclable – we’ve been doing that since 2012
  • decreasing the weight of our packaging by 27%
  • reducing the amount of packaging we use by 15%
  • investing in the world’s largest and most sophisticated plastic-bottle reprocessing plant in Lincolnshire
  • using on average 25% recycled plastic in our plastic bottles, 42% recycled aluminium in our cans around and 56% recycled glass in our glass bottles
  • using PlantBottle packaging for all our Honest and Glaceau Smartwater bottles. PlantBottle is the first-ever fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants.

Learn more about our new sustainable packaging strategy

Can sustainability work with plastic?
One of the biggest benefits of plastic is that it’s fully recyclable – as long as it’s disposed of responsibly, plastic can be reused into new packaging again and again. Plastic packaging is much lighter, safer and uses less material than glass. Recycled plastic also uses around two-thirds less energy than virgin (new) plastic. So as more plastic is recovered through recycling systems, plastic will become more sustainable.

Read more about the sustainability of our packaging from Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners