Sustainability: Coca-Cola to introduce 100% recycled plastic bottles

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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The multinational beverage company Coca-Cola is launching a new bottle made of 100 percent recycled plastic material in a new size for the first time in a decade.

The new 13.2-ounce recyclable bottle is made entirely of other plastics, and it’s the latest move in Coca-Cola’s several-year initiative to reduce its plastic waste. Coke is also hoping the size attracts younger, under-25 drinkers who are seeking sustainable packaging.

Coke describes the size as a “more sippable package,” and it will debut with the company’s most popular sodas like Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar at a suggested retail price of $1.59.

“We’ve been listening to consumers and they have been telling us they want something a little smaller and a little more easy to consume,” Alpa Sutaria, Coca-Cola’s general manager of sustainability, said. “We took this opportunity to make a bottle with plastic that’s 100 percent recyclable.”

The 13.2-ounce size is slightly larger than its aluminum can option and smaller than the typical 20-ounce bottle. Unique sizes like the 7.5-ounce mini can have garnered strong sales.

Ms. Sutaria said developing the new packaging has been a “labor of love and great innovation” for Coca-Cola. The recycled plastic is cleaned, ground down and turned into grain-like flakes before being transformed into a new bottle.

Major contributor of plastic pollution

Coke Bottle Image

Coca-Cola is often criticized for contributing to environmentally damaging plastic waste. Last year, the company was named as the world’s No. 1 plastic polluter by the environmental firm Break Free From Plastic. Its logos and branding were found on 13,834 pieces of plastic in 51 countries, often discarded in public spaces like parks and beaches.

In 2018, Coke announced its “World Without Waste” initiative with the ultimate goal of, by 2030, collecting and recycling one bottle or can for each one it sells. The new bottle, according to Ms. Sutaria, is a “big step in that direction. We’re determined to innovate and to develop technology to minimize our impact,” she said, adding the company is “following through our commitment with real action.”

Coca-Cola isn’t the only multinational conglomerate aiming to reduce its plastic pollution. Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, announced last year it’s spending $2 billion on similar initiatives. Pepsi, another American company, recently rolled out a redesigned 2-liter bottle that uses 24 percent less material.