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UK: Coca-Cola moves to tethered caps

In a major re-engineering of its packaging, Coca-Cola Great Britain is introducing new, tethered caps to its PET bottles.

After several trials around Europe, production of bottles with attached caps has begun at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ (CCEP) site in East Kilbride, Scotland, meaning that consumers in Scotland and the North of England will start to see new caps attached to 1.5l bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke.

The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.

All of Coca-Cola’s bottles, including the caps, have been 100% recyclable for many years but not all are being recycled. Bottle caps are often discarded and littered.

The new design means that the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening, so the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together reducing the potential for it to be littered while still giving consumers a positive drinking experience.  

Working in partnership with CCEP, Coca-Cola is the first major soft drinks company to announce the switch across its entire range in Great Britain.

Coca-Cola has announced major initiatives both globally and locally to help create a “circular economy” for plastic, which are key to Coca-Cola’s ambition to create a World Without Waste.

Last year CCEP announced that it had reached its target of using 100% recycled plastic – excluding caps and labels – in all its 500ml or smaller bottles sold in Great Britain ahead of schedule, helping to save around 29,000 tonnes of plastic per year. 

The move also follows CCEP’s transition to Shrink to Board packs at the business’ Sidcup manufacturing site last year, alongside light-weighting of its aluminium cans, which are now 22% lighter than just two years ago.

Stephen Moorhouse, General Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain said: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.

“The move is just one of the steps we’re taking as part of our This is Forward sustainability action plan, which targets six key social and environmental areas where the business has a significant impact and forms a key element of our 2040 net zero target.

“It’s also one of many steps we’re taking towards our global commitment, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one that we sell by 2025, on our journey towards a World Without Waste.”

“As the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola, we recognise that we have a leading role to play in pushing innovation and design to produce more high-quality recycled plastic which can be converted into new bottles.” 

Source: Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

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