Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has unveiled its new United Kingdom sustainable packaging strategy, which will see it doubling the recycled plastic (rPET) content of all its bottles to 50 percent.
The company announced July 12 that it will work with local and national partners to recover all of its packaging to make sure none ends up as litter and more is recycled.
According to CCEP only 57 percent of the plastic bottles used each year are recycled presently. The company's new strategy will set out key actions to further recover and recycle drinks packaging in the U.K.
As part of the initiative, CCEP said it planned to to double the amount of recycled plastic in its PET bottles over the next three years from the current average of 25 percent.
To achieve this, the company will continue its long-term partnership with Clean Tech U.K. Ltd., which operates Europe's largest and most advanced plastic bottle reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire, England.
This, said CCEP, will allow recycled bottles to return to shop shelves as part of new packs in as few as six weeks.
Another measure outlined by the strategy concerns the launch of a Coca-Cola branded communications campaign to convey the importance of recycling to 35 million consumers.
As part of the new strategy, Coca-Cola will launch a multi-million-pound communications campaign to inspire more people to recycle.
The program drew unimpressed responses from bloggers on the site of environmental organization Greenpeace.
Since launching the “don't let Coke choke our oceans with plastic” campaign this spring in the U.K., over 90,000 people have emailed Coca-Cola saying enough is enough, writes blogger Fiona Nicholls, “this morning Coca-Cola made an announcement in response to all of our efforts, but in honesty… it's all fizz and no substance.”
She dismisses the raised recycled content target as “not good enough”, pointing to a brand like Ribena, which has used 100 percent recycled content in its bottles since 2007 or water brand Belu, which is “planning to shift all their bottles to 100 percent recycled material within 12-24 months." She also noted the plans for a voucher scheme to reward customers for returning small Coke bottles to shops is gimmicky and “risks distracting from ongoing government processes to look at a comprehensive and joined-up deposit return scheme.”
“This company has a history of making green announcements that sound good but deliver little,” she writes.