Drinks group Coca-Cola said on Tuesday it would start using PET bottles in Sweden made only of recycled plastic in a first step towards expanding its use of recycled plastic in western Europe.
Coca-Cola said the switch at its Jordbro factory south of Stockholm would enable the company to use around 3,500 tonnes less of virgin plastic annually.
The company also said increasing the share of recycled material in packaging was an efficient way to reduce its C02 footprint.
‘That means a 25 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions annually compared with before the transition, when the portfolio consisted of around 40 per cent recycled plastic,’ it said, referring to its Swedish operations.
The group used 128 billion PET bottles a year globally, of which 205 million were in Sweden, company spokeswoman Frida Keane said.
Coca-Cola and rivals such as PepsiCo and Nestle are stepping up action to curb plastic use as the industry reacts to growing consumer concerns about global warming and plastic waste pollution.
Environmental group Greenpeace said in October that Coca-Cola was the world’s biggest producer of plastic waste for the second year in a row.
Keane said the move in Sweden was a first step toward a company ambition to use PET bottles from 100 per cent recycled plastic in western Europe by the end of 2023.
At group level, Coca-Cola’s recycled plastic ratio was 11 per cent currently, and in western Europe, 27 per cent, Keane said.
Last year, Coca-Cola pledged to collect and recycle a bottle or can for everyone it sells globally by 2030.
Its move in Sweden, planned for the first quarter of 2020, was a joint initiative by the beverage maker and its bottling partner in western Europe, Coca-Cola European Partners, Keane said.
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