Food and beverage packaging is an important part of modern life, but discarded packaging is taking its toll on our beaches, oceans and the communities we live in. That's why, in 2018, the Coca-Cola system announced an industry-first goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can we sell worldwide by 2030. Here are our commitments globally, and in Great Britain…
The rise in litter on streets, beaches and in the oceans is an increasingly urgent issue. Food and drinks packaging is a significant part of this worldwide problem, as highlighted by our 2020 World Without Waste Report, and Coca-Cola has a responsibility to help solve it. By investing in our planet and our packaging through our World Without Waste programme, we can help tackle this global challenge
Our global ambition
“Consumers around the world care about our planet. They want and expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible,” says James Quincey, president and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company.
“Through our World Without Waste vision, we are investing in our planet and in our packaging to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.”
At the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Quincey said the company will continue to focus on developing 100% recyclable packaging and reducing the amount of plastic in our bottles.
With our drinks’ packaging among the waste that ends up littering our countryside, communities and beaches, we know we’ve got a real responsibility to address the world’s packaging problem. We’re setting ourselves a massive global ambition: by 2030 we aim to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every single one we sell.
"If something can be recycled, it should be recycled. So we want to help people everywhere understand how to do their part.” James Quincey, president and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
So, how will we reach this global ambition?
For every bottle or can we sell globally, we aim to take one back and recycle it, making sure it has more than one life. 2030 is our goal for this.
Because we work in local communities across the world, and in over 200 countries, we’re able to share best practices and help develop effective recycling methods in a wide range of communities. We want to make recycling easier and more accessible for everyone.
Making our packaging 100% recyclable is only part of the answer to the world’s packaging problem – we also have a responsibility to help people everywhere understand how they can do their part. We know that plastic, glass and aluminum should be reused and given a second or third life, and we want to help spread the message.
“We believe every package – regardless of where it comes from – has value and life beyond its initial use,” Quincey said. “If something can be recycled, it should be recycled. So we want to help people everywhere understand how to do their part.”
“Plastic, glass and aluminum should be reused and given a second or third life – we want to help spread that message.”
What are we doing in Great Britain?
Closer to home, we’ve taken steps to make a difference by investing in state-of-the-art recycling facilities, including the Lincolnshire-based Clean Tech plant, Europe’s largest plastic recycling facility.
Clean Tech are planning to expand their capacity and production capabilities as a result of our commitment to make sure that all our plastic bottles in Great Britain contain at least 50% recycled plastic this year.
We know there’s a lot more to do. Reducing and preventing litter and boosting recycling of our packaging are two of our biggest goals and responsibilities. We know that we have a long way to go and a lot to do, but we’re determined to do our part to help find solutions which really help protect our world and oceans for generations to come.
What else are we doing in Great Britain?
Here are some things we’ve been doing for the past 20 years – and are continuing to do – which we believe will encourage recycling and litter reduction:
- Developing and refining our packaging so that not only is it all 100% recyclable, but it’s lighter and uses less plastic than ever before
- Supporting recycling programmes and infrastructure to better recover our bottles and cans for reuse
- Funding partnerships that protect and clean up our seas and waterways. For example, our projects with WWF and the Rivers Trust
- Working with organisations such as WWF, Ocean Conservancy and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, on initiatives such as the New Plastics Economy
- Sponsoring clean-ups, such as the International Coastal Cleanup, the largest single-day volunteer event that helps clean the world’s waterways
We’re also working with many of our partners, suppliers and NGOs to help make recycling easier for everyone. We continue to play an active role in supporting the introduction of a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme in the UK.