Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has announced that it aims to reduce the amount of virgin plastics that go into its packaging, by upping the use of rPET or renewable plastics to 40%.
The commitment was made in its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2014/15, which revealed around 34% of the PET purchased by CCE in the UK and overseas in 2014 was rPET.
It said: “Over the past few years we have begun to look for new, renewable sources of PET plastic. In 2009 we introduced PlantBottle, in which we have been able to replace one of the key molecules in PET with a chemically identical material derived from sugar cane and molasses.
“The resulting material looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lower carbon footprint. Work is now ongoing with partners to create the other key molecular component of PlantBottle from renewable materials.”
27.8% of the PET bottles used for the company’s SmartWater brand uses PlantBottle plastic, but it is yet unclear whether the commitment to reduced virgin plastics will be met by using more rPET or plant-based plastics.
CCE also this week announced the return of its popular summer festival activation, Happiness Recycled.
The recycling campaign, now in its third year, brings recycling fun and games to visitors across Great Britain as part of its ongoing drive to encourage sustainable behaviour change amongst consumers.
The campaign, first implemented in 2013, aims to engage and educate consumers about recycling through a range of interactive bins, games and performers, in a bid to help improve recycling rates across the country.
Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland – “We need to keep highlighting the fact that over half a million tonnes of plastic bottles are thrown away every year in the UK, and only half of these are currently recycled”
This year, CCE will be at two summer festivals: the South of England Agricultural Show in Haywards Heath (11-13 June), and the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh (18-21 June).
Giustina Diana, Recycling Manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises GB, said: “Happiness Recycled is one of our most popular recycling initiatives, offering a fun and memorable experience whilst also educating consumers along the way.
“We are dedicated to improving recycling rates across Great Britain and know the importance of engaging with consumers in unusual ways to help encourage positive behaviour change. With two successful years behind us, we look forward to bringing the feel-good factor back to recycling again this summer.”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, commented: “We need to keep highlighting the fact that over half a million tonnes of plastic bottles are thrown away every year in the UK, and only half of these are currently recycled.
“The Royal Highland Show is the perfect place to do that, as it attracts over 170,000 visitors, and leads into national Recycle Week. Our volunteers will be there again with Coca-Cola Enterprises to engage with people about the benefits of recycling.”