Coca-Cola has announced that it will increase the amount of recycled in its bottles to 50 per cent by 2020, doubling the current amount of 25 per cent.
In a bid to become more environmentally friendly, it is thought that 480 billion plastic bottles are bought every year, with around 100 billion being Coca-Cola bottles.
In conversation with The Guardian, Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola Britain said, “Doubling the amount of recycled material in all of our plastic bottles is a significant investment and sends a clear signal we want to play a positive role in supporting the circular economy here in Great Britain.”
The new plans should reduce the number of millions of plastic bottles that end up in the oceans every day, but environmental groups have called the efforts unambitious and a “PR spin.”
Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:
They’re doing nothing to genuinely challenge the culture of throwaway single-use plastic bottles, and what little action they’re taking is restricted to Britain, when oceans plastic is a global issue.
“They should be pushing for an industry-wide deposit return scheme so far fewer plastic bottles end up in our oceans, and should get far more reusable bottles on to the shelves. This company has a history of making green announcements that sound good but deliver little. Coke’s PR spin on plastic is not ‘the real thing’.”
Despite the concerns of Greenpeace, Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy said that the changes were “welcome news” and hoped that other drinks companies would soon follow suit.
The move follows Coca-Cola European Partners announcing its commitment to renewable energy with the unveiling of a solar farm at its factory in Wakefield in May.
Covering eight hectares of land, the solar panels will produce five megawatts of electricity at full capacity and will deliver 15 per cent of the site’s power — reducing its carbon footprint by 8.6 per cent.
At the time, Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP, said:
We are committed to minimising the impact of our operations, with a core goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in the consumers’ hand by a third in time for 2020.
“By guaranteeing that 100 per cent of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources we’re taking a major step forward in achieving this.”