According to CCEP, reducing the impact packaging has on the environment is a critical part of its journey to reach zero waste and net zero GHG emissions.
Since 2008, it has reduced the weight of its 500ml PET bottles by 30%, from 28.9g to 19.9g.
The new lighter weight neck design will remove a further 1g of plastic from the 'neck' of each bottle, totalling 6,800 tonnes of plastic by the end of 2024.
The plan is aligned to The Coca-Cola Company’s vision for a World Without Waste and its goal to source three million tonnes less of new plastic from fossil-based sources by 2025.
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Light Weight Neck
Lightweighting the neck of a carbonated soft drink bottle is a complex technical challenge, the company said, as the neck needs to perform well under adverse and extreme conditions and retain high safety and quality standards, whilst maintaining the same consumer experience.
This new solution was developed in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company, working closely with multiple bottle and closure suppliers to design and test the innovation.
To reach the lighter neck solution, the group tested over six million bottles under rigorous conditions and despite reducing the neck material, each bottle can still withstand the 11.5 bars of pressure – five times that of a car tyre – required to contain the carbonated drink.
Production lines in Germany were the first to convert in Q4 2021 and are being followed by the other European markets over the next two years.
The group is aiming for the new design to be accepted as a free to use, open source, industry standard published through the industry association Cetie (International Technical Centre for Bottling).
It will then be available for any beverage maker to use in their own bottles.
"This new lighter-weight neck design – a seemingly simple, but highly technical and complex innovation – builds on our longstanding lightweighting programme and helps us further reduce the environmental impact of our packaging," said Geert Marsé, associate director engineering, new technology, and innovation, CCEP. "This innovation supports our ongoing progress to zero waste and net zero GHG emissions."