Following the announcement in December last year that Coca-Cola in Sweden would become the first market to transition from the use of new virgin oil-based plastic in PET bottles to 100% rPET, now two more markets have also been confirmed to be making the switch. Coca-Cola in the Netherlands and Coca-Cola in Norway, too, are moving away from virgin PET materials towards a local closed-loop recycling system supported by the Dutch and Norwegian Deposit Return Schemes.
From October 2020, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands will transition all its locally produced small plastic bottles to 100% rPET, including iconic brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Large plastic bottles will follow in 2021.
The switch to 100% rPET in the Netherlands will eliminate the use of more than 10,000 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic, amounting to a 21% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles per year.
The third country scheduled to make the switch is Norway. Coca-Cola in Norway will transition to 100% rPET for all plastic bottles that it produces locally in the first half of 2021 - a move that will eliminate around 4,300 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic a year, and will deliver an annual 28% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles.
Both Coca-Cola in the Netherlands and Coca-Cola in Norway will be the first companies in their respective countries to move their entire portfolio of locally produced plastic bottles to 100% rPET.
Coca-Cola says the switch to 100% recycled plastic material in the Netherlands and Norway is made possible by the rapidly expanding and effective Deposit Return Schemes operational in both countries. Coca-Cola in Western Europe recognises the vital role that well-designed Deposit Return Schemes will play in its 100% rPET vision.
Supported by innovation in recycling technologies, these schemes have enabled the production of high quality rPET resin in both Dutch and Norwegian markets, thus accelerating the transition to local circular economies for PET in these countries. The 100% rPET bottles produced in each market will be fully recyclable, so they can be used again as raw material for new bottles.
As part of their joint Sustainability Action Plan, This is Forward, Coca-Cola European Partners and The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe have pledged that by 2025, Coca-Cola will: collect a can or bottle for every one it sells and ensure that all its packaging is 100% recyclable and by 2023 will ensure that at least 50% of the content of its PET bottles will come from recycled content, accelerating towards its ambition to use zero virgin oil-based PET in its PET bottles within a decade.