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The Coca-Cola Co produces almost twice as much plastic packaging as food giant Nestle, it has revealed as part of a commitment to reduce waste.

Coca-Cola uses 3m tonnes of plastic packaging every year

Coca-Cola uses 3m tonnes of plastic packaging every year

Disclosing the figures for the first time, Coca-Cola said it creates 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year. The number was the highest of the 36 companies and organisations that published their packaging volumes in an Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, released today.

In comparison, Nestle produces 1.7m tonnes a year while Diageo makes 40,000 tonnes. Danone produces 750,000 tonnes every year.

In the report, Coca-Cola underlined its commitment to reducing the plastic footprint through its World Without Waste programme, launched last year. Coca-Cola aims to use 100% recyclable packaging by 2025, and to phase out single-use packaging "where relevant".

"Although we have only recently passed the one-year mark since launch of our World Without Waste programme, we have made a great deal of progress towards implementing action," the group said.

Coca-Cola was one of only 16 consumer goods companies - out of 46 in the Ellen MacArthur report - to release plastic output data. PepsiCo, Pernod Ricard and Kellogg Co did not disclose volumes.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said the information in the report was made public over the course of 2018 and 2019. "We'll continue this type of proactive reporting on our World Without Waste progress as we work to hit our goals by 2030," the spokesperson added.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was set up in 2009 to help businesses work towards a circular economy. More than 150 companies are signatories to the foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle. In 2013, Coca-Cola was the first global consumer goods company to join the foundation's attempt to sign up 100 businesses to its circular economy plegde.

In today's report, the foundation praised the companies that revealed their plastic footprint, saying it marked "an important step forward to create transparency". 

"We encourage all businesses that make and use plastics to provide full transparency on their plastics footprint, including, for example, total tonnage, number of items, and breakdown by geography and packaging format and  material type," it added.

Can the drinks industry ever be plastic-free? just-drinks FUTURES Vol. 3


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