Packaging and recycling
Packaging plays a vital role in delivering our beverages safely to customers and consumers. Once the beverage inside has been consumed, however, the package can become either valuable material for recycling or recovery in heat capture incineration plants – or waste, ending up in landfill.
We are working to reduce the environmental impacts of our packaging at every stage of its lifecycle. Our integrated approach includes:
Ultimately, we aim to close the recycling loop: turning used packaging into new containers. The bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Austria that Coca-Cola Hellenic Group helped set up, for example, now provides the Company with a high-quality and cost-effective supply of recycled material to make into new bottles.
In addition to minimising waste from our beverage packaging, we are also reducing production waste from our bottling plants.
Minimising the amount of packaging we use is one of the most significant ways that we can reduce its environmental impact. In addition to using less material, this helps to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging throughout its lifecycle: from manufacture to transportation to disposal or recycling.
Our PET bottles are among the lightest in the marketplace weighting only 15 grammes and they are a third lighter than their predecessors.
Increasing recycled content
Our beverage containers consist mostly of recyclable materials: PET plastic, aluminium, steel and glass. Since these are among the most widely recycled packaging materials, another way we can reduce the impact of our packaging is to increase the recycled content in them. By using recycled aluminium in cans, for example, we save up to 95% of the energy required when using virgin aluminium.
Our aluminium cans and glass bottles already contain up to 60% recycled content. Including recycled PET plastic in our bottles presents a challenge in terms of availability and cost. Although PET is widely recycled, it is cheaper and easier to channel it into carpet and clothing industries, which need not meet the high quality standards required of food containers.
We already use up to 2% recycled PET content in Ukraine and are working to increase this.
We help set up recycling infrastructure and encourage consumers to recycle their beverage packaging.
We are working to establish a packaging management scheme in Ukraine, as we have across the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group business.
To date, the Company has helped set up systems in 19 countries, co-owning 17 recycling and recovery organisations.
Reducing production waste
In addition to minimising waste from our beverage containers in the marketplace, we are increasing recycling and minimising waste in our own bottling plant.
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