Plastic bottles first appeared in 1950, celebrated as ‘miracle containers’ for their durability, safety and convenience. Fast forward nearly 70 years, and single-use plastic presents serious sustainability challenges. Global awareness of plastic-use reduction and responsible recycling practices are now in force to help manage the situation.
At Coca‑Cola, we are changing production processes to make our single-serve bottles (600ml and under) from 100% recycled plastic and we’ve done just that with our Australian Mount Franklin Sparkling and Pump drink bottles.
By using recycled plastic to create new bottles, we are helping close the waste loop and reduce the total volume of virgin plastic being created in our world.
IIn 2019 we announced that 7 in 10 plastic bottles produced by Coca‑Cola in Australia, excluding caps and labels, will be made from 100% recycled plastic by the end of 2019. This means that 10,000 less tonnes of virgin plastic will be used every year.
As sustainability and safety manager at Coca‑Cola South Pacific, Lynn Hong has overseen the transition of multiple brands to recycled plastic bottles. But using recycled plastic isn’t without its challenges, says Lynn.
“As a large producer of plastic we have a responsibility to do everything we can to provide solutions to the plastic waste challenge,” said Lynn.
“At the same time, we are committed to producing recycled bottles that are functionally equivalent to virgin bottles. So using recycled plastic presented a few challenges.”
“The first was finding a supplier to provide the highest quality recycled plastic that met our strict standards. Then we needed to alter our pre-form manufacturing recipe to ensure it performed just as well as our virgin plastic bottles during our moulding and blowing phases,” said Lynn.
Dr Martin Orzinski, from Coca‑Cola Europacific Partners, led the Australian research and development team that made recycled plastic bottles for carbonated beverages possible, and he couldn’t be prouder.
“To be a first-mover in this space is an incredible feeling. It really demonstrates our commitment to sustainability,” said Martin.
“On a personal note, it’s great knowing I’ve been able to make a real difference and contribution towards an important challenge we all face.”
Ultimately, our ‘World Without Waste’ vision supports our broader sustainability goals. Our vision is to recycle a bottle for every one we sell. Although bottling innovations play an important role, we can only achieve this with your help.
Learn more about the amazing things that can be created with recycled plastic.
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