The use of recycled content in beverage bottles has been a major focus in recent years, but Coca-Cola Co. has taken its sustainability measures to new heights — the closure.
The newly designed closure for Coca-Cola's bottled water line, Dasani, is the first of its kind in the beverage industry that has post-consumer recycled content.
The closure was named the winner of Plastics News' Plastics Caps & Closures Innovation Award during the annual conference on Sept. 25.
"Wow that's a big surprise," said Izabela Lomacka, global procurement director for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. "Innovations such as these are essential to keep driving action toward a sustainable future. I would like to stress it has been the first use of post-consumer content in our system, and as far as we are aware, is the first in the beverage industry, therefore it's a great milestone to be celebrated."
The closure has the same feel, seal and other characteristics of traditional Dasani closures, but with the added sustainability bonus of recycled content.
The closure itself has 30 percent recycled content, which was a "sweet spot" for functionality. The PCR was harvested from high density polyethylene milk jugs, which are then purchased from the recycling system, ground, sorted and purified to meet FDA levels, said Michael Price, engineer in research and development for Coca-Cola.
"Our experience is that we met our goal, which was to make this change invisible to consumers and bottling plants," he said. "No one is really aware of it because it's a seamless change in our process."
During a keynote presentation with the conference, Bimal Lakhotia, director of packaging research and development at Coca-Cola, cited Dasani's green-colored cap as a nod to the sustainability efforts in the making of the packaging. Green denotes "sustainable" or "recycling."