The Coca-Cola Company today announced an industry-leading goal to significantly boost its use of reusable packaging.
By 2030, The Coca-Cola Co. aims to have at least 25% of all beverages globally across its portfolio of brands sold in refillable/returnable glass or plastic bottles, or in refillable containers through traditional fountain or Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers.
“We continue to put consumers at the center of all we do,” says Elaine Bowers Coventry, Chief Customer & Commercial Officer, The Coca Cola Company. “One way to do that is by offering sustainable packaging types. Accelerating use of reusable packaging provides added value for consumers and customers while supporting our World Without Waste goal to collect a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030.”
The company’s World Without Waste initiative remains focused on its three core pillars:
DESIGN: Make all of our primary consumer packaging recyclable by 2025. Use 50% recycled material in our packaging by 2030.
COLLECT: Collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030.
PARTNER: Bring people together to support a healthy, debris-free environment.
By increasing its use of reusable packaging, the company says it promotes a circular economy as refillable containers have high levels of collection and are low-carbon footprint beverage containers, because the container collection is built into the beverage delivery model.
As the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) notes in its Reuse: Rethinking Packaging report, converting 20% of global plastic packaging into reuse models is a $10 billion business opportunity that benefits customers and represents a crucial element in the quest to eliminate plastic waste and pollution.
Returnable glass bottles and refillable PET currently represent more than 50% of The Coca-Cola Company’s product sales in more than 20 markets, and more than 25% of sales in another 20 markets.
Traditional refillable/returnable packaging accounted for approximately 16% of the company’s total volume in 2020. Use of refillables is growing in several markets, outperforming non-refillables in Germany and parts of Latin America, where reusable bottles represented 27% of transactions in 2020. Markets around the world have increased their focus on refillable packaging in recent years through initiatives that include:
These and other similar sustainability efforts helped pave the way for the global reusable packaging target we are announcing today, which will require significant investment, particularly in markets with limited refillable/returnable infrastructure.
“Reusable packaging is among the most effective ways to reduce waste, use fewer resources and lower our carbon footprint in support of a circular economy,” says Ben Jordan, Senior Director, Packaging and Climate of The Coca-Cola Company. “We will continue to highlight markets that are leading the way with reusable packaging best practices, and to support other markets as they increase their use of reusable packaging,” Jordan said, adding that each market will approach the goal in a different way. -PW