Buzzwords explained: Recovery

An ever-increasing global population means we’re consuming more and generating more packaging waste. Littering has a huge environmental impact. As well as harming marine life in our oceans, it’s a wasted opportunity to recycle.

What do we mean by ‘recovery’?
Recovery is the collection of used products and materials so they can be recycled and reused (or if they’re not recyclable they can be incinerated to create electricity and heat). In the UK, most local authorities run successful household collection schemes for recycling. Over the last fifteen years we’ve moved from a limited collection of recyclable materials to almost 6 in 10 plastic bottles, and 7 out of 10 cans being collected in homes.

How is the Coca-Cola system helping to improve packaging collection & recovery?
We care what happens to the bottles and cans after people have enjoyed our drinks. Instead of harming the environment by littering, our ambition is to collect all our packaging so it can be recycled.

Collecting and recovering for recycling also makes good business sense for us – the more packaging that’s collected for recycling, the more recycled material we can put back into our bottles. In 2016, we produced around 1.47 billion plastic bottles in Great Britain, each containing around 25% recycled plastic. We want to double that to 50% by 2020, but we need more high-quality recycled plastic (that’s fit for food use) to be made available.

Read our case for increasing packaging recovery and recycling in Great Britain

Championing new ways of recovering our packaging
As part of the Coca-Cola system's new sustainable packaging strategy, we’re calling for reform of the UK’s current collection, recovery and recycling system.

We’re working with NGOs, government stakeholders and action groups like WRAP and Keep Britain Tidy, to support anti-littering and clean-up initiatives, as well as part of DEFRA's (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) litter strategy workgroup.

The Coca-Cola Company's involvement with Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) around the world means we’ve seen the positive impact they can have if they’re well designed. We know many of our fans support the introduction of a DRS in the UK, and half say they’d be more likely to recycle as a result. That’s why we’re looking into how we can trial what impact a small financial reward has to on-the-go littering and recycling rates.

Find out more about our views on deposit return schemes