This conventional, reusable Coca-Cola bottles made out of PET still displays the company logo in large letters. Photo: Evonne Yuwen Teoh on Unsplash
Coca-Cola bottles made out of rPET
Sweden will be the first of Coca-Cola’s markets around the world to convert its production of plastic bottles to 100 percent recycled material (rPET). Until now, around 40 percent of the range was made out of rPET materials.
The company began the full conversion of its 205 million bottles per year in the first quarter of 2020, starting with the production site in Jordbro near Stockholm. By implementing these measures, the company aims to save around 3,500 tons of virgin plastic per year. At the same time, the conversion will reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 25 percent. The labels and plastic bottle caps will still not be made out of rPET.
COCA-COLA BOTTLES IN THE RECYCLING CIRCUIT
Besides Coca-Cola, the company’s rPET portfolio includes the Fanta, Sprite and Bonaqua brands, with the conversion affecting a total of 40 different versions of these beverages. In terms of a functioning recycling circuit, Coca-Cola wants to use the valuable PET plastics in a manner that best benefits the environment and the company. The full conversion to rPET thus follows the group’s target of recycling every bottle or can sold by 2030.
Coca-Cola changes brand profile to promote recycling
Returpack, Sweden’s return and deposit system, is considered one of the best in the world, according to company statements. To ensure it achieves the targeted return rates, the beverage group depends on the public to help and has even changed its brand profile to motivate consumers to recycle, forgoing the prominent placement of its brand logo in favour of the slogan “panta mig igen”, the Swedish call to recycle that translates to “Recycle me again”.
The labels of the 0.5 litre and 1.5 litre PET bottles have now been given a white background, on which the following prompt has been printed in large letters: “Recycle me again. I am made out of 100% recycled plastic. Made in Sweden.” The Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Bonaqua brand logos have all been reduced in size and moved to the side of the bottles. By taking this step, Coca-Cola has not only demonstrated that it is serious about its commitment to a one hundred percent recycling rate. The group also illustrates just how strongly packaging can convey messages to consumers.