Sometimes small changes can make a huge difference, and a recent design shift in the packaging of Coca-Cola bottles has the potential to do just that.
In European countries like the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and more, plastic Coca-Cola bottles are sold with the bottle caps attached, ensuring every part of the bottle can be recycled.
Have you seen our new bottles with attached caps?— Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (@CocaColaEP) August 7, 2023
These are designed to:
♻️Help the whole package to reach the recycling centre
♻️Reduce littered or lost bottle tops
Small changes can make a big impact, helping to create a #WorldWithoutWaste pic.twitter.com/VFAJwEkfIz
According to the North Sea Foundation, plastic bottle caps are among the top five most deadly forms of ocean trash. The organization’s Bottle Cap Report also revealed that 20 million bottle caps were found in beach cleaning activities in the past 30 years.
Bottle caps are sometimes consumed by sea birds or other marine mammals, and ingesting caps could have potentially fatal consequences.
While there are myriad problems with recycling and a high number of recyclable products like soda bottles are thrown away anyway, attaching the cap to the bottle should reduce the rate at which even the caps of unrecycled bottles end up polluting the ocean.
Despite Coca-Cola saying that bottles across its brand portfolio have been 100% recyclable for years, bottle caps are not always included when they are sent to treatment centers. The move to attach the caps to the bottle was to prevent littering and hopefully stopping caps from being left on beaches or washing up on the shore when finding their way to water sources.
When announcing the design change in 2022, general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain John Woods 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.
“It’s one of many steps we’re taking towards our global commitment 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.”
It isn’t the first change among Coca-Cola packaging to try to help consumers avoid plastic pollution.
Graphic Packaging said the switch would help to remove more than 34,000 kilograms (75,000 pounds) of plastic packaging a year from the supply chain.
The hope is all bottles in Europe will have attached caps by 2024 to comply with an EU law that calls for caps and lids to remain attached to any drinks container of up to 3 liters.
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