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Exploring New Ways to Improve Recycling in the UK

Learn how Coca‑Cola Great Britain is carrying out a major review of our sustainable packaging strategy.

At Coca‑Cola Great Britain, we’re carrying out a major review of our sustainable packaging strategy. We want to make sure all of our packaging is as sustainable as it can be, as easy as possible for you to be able to recycle it and for less of it to end up where it shouldn’t.

We’ve made significant progress to improve the sustainability of our packaging in recent years. We’ve made all of our bottles and cans as light as possible by reducing the amount of material we use in them. We’ve also committed to increasing the amount of recycled and renewable material in our plastic bottles from 25% to 40% by 2020 and since 2012 all of our bottles and cans have been 100% recyclable. 

Despite this, recycling rates in the UK are stalling and it’s clear that people want to see companies like us do more to help. That’s why we have embarked on a major review of our sustainable packaging strategy to understand what role we can play to unlock the full potential of a circular economy.

What is the circular economy and why does it matter?

For some time now we have been consulting with expert organisations, NGOs and policymakers, as well as talking to and listening to our consumers to understand what they think about these issues. All of this will feed into our sustainable packaging strategy which we will make public later in the year. Deposit return schemes have been a big part of these discussions as more people are looking for ways to increase recycling rates. We’ve asked some of our consumers what they think too and 63% of the people we asked support the introduction of a deposit scheme in the UK, and 51% say they’d be more likely to recycle as a result.

So while our review is still ongoing, it’s clear to us that the time is right to trial a well-designed deposit scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland where conversations are underway already.

As part of the review of our sustainable packaging strategy, we are focused on our packaging, the role of our brands and ways in which we can work with others to reduce litter and improve recycling rates. We are fully committed to finding new ways to minimise the materials we use, reducing waste, and working with others to improve recycling rates across Great Britain.