Coke bottles use marine plastic and go for 100% recycled

Coca-Cola has demonstrated a bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, the first-ever example of food and drink packaging made using litter retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.

The bottle results from a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The Coca-Cola Company. Although only 300 bottles have been produced using 25 per cent recycled marine plastic, it does showcase the abilities of ‘enhanced recycling’ technologies, which can recycle previously used PET back to the high-quality needed for food or drinks packaging. Moreover, from 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.

Enhanced recycling technologies use innovative processes that break down the components of plastic and strip out impurities in lower-grade recyclables so they can be rebuilt as good as new. This means that lower-grade plastics that were often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life. It also means more materials are available to make recycled content, reducing the amount of virgin PET needed from fossil fuels.

Bruno van Gompel, technical and supply chain director, Coca-Cola Western Europe, noted, “They accelerate the prospect of a closed-loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill.”

Coca-Cola used the launch of the new prototype bottle to announce that it is seeking to achieve 100 per cent recycled plastic in all of its bottles across Western Europe.

In Great Britain, it is on track to reach the target of moving to 50 per cent recycled next year and is backing the introduction of a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme to increase the feed of food-grade plastic available and help reach this target.

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