Coca-Cola has announced plans to transition to 100% recycled PET for locally-produced bottles in Norway and the Netherlands.
The initiative is in line with Coca-Cola’s pledge to eliminate new virgin oil-based PET in all of its bottles within the next decade and increase the use of 100% rPET in Western Europe.
Coca-Cola will be the first company in Norway and the Netherlands to move its entire portfolio of locally-produced plastic bottles to 100% rPET, the company added.
Closed-Loop Recycling System
The move will see the company eliminate the use of new virgin oil-based plastic in PET bottles and set up a local closed-loop recycling system supported by the Dutch and Norwegian Deposit Return Schemes.
Through this initiative, Coca-Cola expects to remove a total of over 200,000 tonnes of new virgin, oil-based PET from its packaging portfolio annually.
Vice-president sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners, Joe Franses, described the announcement as “a vitally important step” in the company’s efforts to eliminate new virgin oil-based plastic across all plastic bottles within a decade.
He added, “Markets with well-designed DRS such as those in Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway not only have high collection rates but also have the capacity to collect a higher grade of material with less contamination.”
“We also remain committed to supporting innovative packaging and recycling technologies to help us to reach our target of 50% recycled content across all our plastic bottles by 2023.”
Transition In The Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the move to 100% rPET will reduce the use of new virgin oil-based plastic by more than 10,000 tonnes.
It will result in a 21% annual reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles compared to the rPET level before the transition, the company said.
Presently, the brand portfolio is comprised of more than 50% recycled PET.
In October of this year, the company will commence the transition to 100% rPET for all its locally produced small plastic bottles for brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta in the Netherlands.
In 2021, it will transition into fully recyclable PET for large plastic bottles.
Norway's Transition Plan
In Norway, the cola giant will switch to 100% rPET for all locally-produced plastic bottles in the first half of 2021.
The transition to fully recyclable rPET will help in eliminating approximately 4,300 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic, every year.
It will account for a 28% reduction in the annual carbon footprint of the brand’s plastic bottles compared with the rPET level before the switch, the company said.