Buzzwords explained: Sustainable

The Coca-Cola system recently launched our new sustainable packaging strategy in Great Britain, 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. But whichever way you look at it, sustainability involves social, environmental and economic responsibilities.

What are the Coca-Cola system's ambitions for a sustainable future?
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) have been making lots of changes to improve the sustainability of their packaging, including:

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

Learn more about the Coca-Cola system's 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