SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Japanese consumers now can buy Coke in one-half liter PET bottles, after a 14-year ban was lifted. The change was made with such haste that an Australian-made batch of bottles was needed to meet initial demand.
When soft drinks first became available in PET bottles in 1982, Japan's Soft Drink Industries' Association imposed its own ban on bottles of less than 1-liter capacity, fearing they would create a pollution problem.
Ian Brown, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. corporate affairs manager, said the ban was lifted this year after Japan introduced extensive recycling programs.
While Coca-Cola has a plant in Japan, it could not upgrade manufacturing facilities quickly enough to start immediate production of half-liter bottles, so a shipment of 320 containers of half-liter bottles of Coke was sent to Japan by Sydney-based Coca-Cola Amatil, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.
But Brown said the A$3.5 million (US$2.74 million) order was a one-time shipment because Coca-Cola Japan Co. Ltd. now has upgraded its facilities to manufacture the smaller bottles.
The Australian bottles were manufactured and exported from Coca-Cola Amatil's plant in Adelaide, Australia.
Coca-Cola Japan provided Coca-Cola Amatil with artwork details so Japanese labels could be produced in Australia.