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Coca-Cola European Partners is to package three of its smaller Coca-Cola Co beverage brands in 100% recycled plastic.

Coca-Colas Honest organic beverage brand will be one of the first from CCEP to use 100% recycled plastic bottles

Coca-Cola's Honest organic beverage brand will be one of the first from CCEP to use 100% recycled plastic bottles

Honest, Glaceau Smartwater and Chaudfontaine will be sold in fully recycled plastic bottles from 2020 in all of CCEP's regions, the Western Europe bottler said today. The move expands action by the system's bottlers to reduce plastic waste and is part of Coca-Cola's global 'World Without Waste' commitment to use 50% recycled plastic in bottles by 2025.

The bottler also said today it will change the colour of the Sprite bottle from green to clear to assist European recycling programmes.

Bottled tea Honest and Glaceau Smartwater are bigger brands in the US than in Europe, where they have a relatively small footprint compared to CCEP-controlled brands such as Coca-Cola and Sprite. Chaudfontaine is a Belgian mineral water. CCEP said it has "ambitious growth plans" for Honest and Glaceau Smartwater, and that the new packaging will allow the two brands to grow sustainably.

"We know people have high expectations of companies to make the products that they love in a sustainable way and we're committed to meeting those expectations," said chief supply chain officer Ron Lewis.

CCEP is not the first company in the Coca-Cola network to launch 100% recycled plastic bottles. Last year, Coca-Cola Australia and its bottler Coca-Cola Amatil rolled out a 100% recycled plastic bottle for Mount Franklin water.

Beverage companies today face challenges in switching to a fully-recycled plastic bottle portfolio, including a lack of recycled PET with a quality high enough to be used in food packaging. In December, Coca-Cola announced it was stepping up efforts behind depolymerization, or "enhanced recycling", which breaks down plastics of different colours and condition into their constituent parts. The parts can be turned into food-grade PET.

According to CCEP, the latest initiative will remove 9,000 tonnes of virgin plastic from the beverage industry every year.

Why drinks brands must move beyond comfortable consensus on climate change - Sustainability Spotlight


Expert Analysis

Impact of Evolving Consumer Attitudes Towards Plastic Packaging: How consumer goods companies, retailers, and foodservice providers are responding to the plastic packaging issue

Impact of Evolving Consumer Attitudes Towards Plastic Packaging: How consumer goods companies, retailers, and foodservice providers are responding to the plastic packaging issue

Impact of Evolving Consumer Attitudes Towards Plastic Packaging, is part of GlobalData's research into how consumer attitudes towards plastic waste are changing in the FMCG sector...

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