Coca-Cola Australia said by the end of 2021, it would reduce its use of virgin plastic by 40,000 tonnes (compared with 2017) by using frozen drink cups and lids made from recycled plastic.
The recycled material used in the new cups and lids is to replace polystyrene, which is generally not recycled or reused.
Coca-Cola South Pacific public affairs, communications, and sustainability director Russell Mahoney said last year the company made some changes in Australia, including moving all plastic bottles of less than one litre to 100 per cent recycled plastic and removing plastic drinking straws and stirrers.
“We have a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint through innovation to help solve the plastic waste issue,” Mahoney said.
“Moving our frozen drinks lids and cups to recycled plastic is the next step towards meeting Coca-Cola’s global commitment to reduce plastic waste.”
Coca-Cola Australia also continues this year as the major sponsor of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, which is taking place from 9 to 15 November.
Planet Ark deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling said it is encouraging to see big companies like Coca-Cola step up and take responsibility for the full life cycle of their packaging and committing to using more recycled content.
“Replacing virgin plastic with 40,000 tonnes of recycled plastic is not only a huge market signal, it prevents another 40,000 tonnes of virgin material entering our world,” Gilling said.
“This year’s National Recycling Week theme is all about recovery and how we can all recycle and reuse materials – it’s a great fit to Coca-Cola’s commitment to reducing its plastic footprint, and we’re thrilled to be working together again this year.”
Under its World Without Waste vision, Coca-Cola said it has a global goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030 and ensuring none of its containers end up in landfill or oceans. Its bottler, Coca-Cola Amatil, plays a key role in co-ordinating all six operating container deposit schemes (CDS) around Australia.
Coca-Cola also has a global goal to use at least 50 per cent recycled material across its packaging by 2030, with Australia already achieving this goal in plastic bottles.