Australians know there’s a packaging problem. But how do we tackle the massive issue of plastic ending up where it doesn’t belong?
For Coca‑Cola Australia, our ambition is to help collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030. Here’s how we’re doing it.
Jean-Phillippe Cloquet, quality safety and environment manager at Coca‑Cola South Pacific, has a simple mission: to reduce the use of new plastic.
“We’ve changed our production processes to make sure 7 out of 10 of our bottles are made from 100 per cent recycled plastic (excluding caps and labels),” said Jean-Phillipe.
“We have a strategy in place to reduce our carbon footprint by 2030, which is why we are choosing the most sustainable option when it comes to the manufacturing and packaging of our products,” Jean-Phillipe said.
“Recycled plastic is one of the most sustainable forms of packaging, with a lower carbon footprint than the same package in aluminium or glass,” said Jean Phillipe. “It’s why we’ve ensured all cans and bottles are recyclable, so they can have another life beyond their first use.” Our caps and labels are not currently made from recycled content, but we are exploring technical options to help us address this.
In order to remove problematic material from our packaging and meet our goal, we also decided to remove plastic straws and polystyrene material from our portfolio.
“We are balancing using minimal plastic with reducing carbon emissions and offering the choices and convenience people want,” he said.
When bottles and cans go into our recycling bins, they can be broken down and given another life. Container deposit schemes are supported by Coca‑Cola across Australia.
“What it does for us, it allows us to have a waste stream of packaging material that is very clean and not contaminated with other waste,” said Jean-Phillipe.
This means they can more easily be separated and reprocessed into new bottles.
Using these schemes to recycle bottles is also supporting the economy because there is a strong and growing market for recycled plastic.
Nine in every ten Australians agree that recycling is the right thing to do, and together, recycle about 37 million tonnes of waste every year.
“We have different initiatives and collaborations with government, NGOs and local communities, to drive collection,” said Jean-Phillippe.
It’s why we’re working together with partners in industry, government and the community, like Earthwatch and Plastic Collective, to support a closed recycling loop to reduce the impact of marine debris.
“We want to see less new plastic packaging used in the world. This work is really important and dear to my heart,” said Jean-Phillipe.
“As a company, we are driving innovation and creating change to have a positive impact on the environment.”
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