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Coca-Cola eliminates polystyrene from cold drink portfolio

Coca-Cola Australia will reduce its plastic footprint by using frozen drink cups and lids made entirely from recycled plastic from 2021.

As a result, problematic polystyrene (plastic that is unable to be recycled and reused) from Coca-Cola’s cold drink portfolio. The company anticipates, that by the end of 2021, the amount of new or “virgin” plastic it uses will be reduced by 40,000 tonnes since 2017.

According to Coca-Cola South Pacific Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability director, Russell Mahoney, in 2019 the company moved all its plastic bottles under one litre to 100 per cent recycled plastic and removed plastic drinking straws and stirrers.

“We have a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint through innovation to help solve the plastic waste issue. Moving our frozen drinks lids and cups to recycled plastic is the next step towards meeting Coca-Cola’s global commitment to reduce plastic waste,”  Mahoney said.

Major sponsor

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Australia also continues as the major sponsor of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week- ‘Recovery – a future beyond the bin’ which is taking place from  November 9-15.

Planet Ark Deputy CEO, Rebecca Gilling, “It’s encouraging to see big companies like Coca-Cola really step up and take responsibility for the full life cycle of their packaging and committing to using more recycled content. Replacing virgin plastic with 40,000 tonnes of recycled plastic is not only a huge market signal, it prevents another 40,000 tonnes of virgin material entering our world.”

“This year’s National Recycling Week theme is all about recovery and how we can all recycle and reuse materials – it’s a great fit to Coca-Cola’s commitment to reducing its plastic footprint, and we’re thrilled to be working together again this year,” Ms Gilling said.

Global Vision

Under its World Without Waste vision, Coca-Cola has set a global goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030. It believes that this will ensure none of its containers end up in landfill or oceans. Its bottler Coca-Cola Amatil plays a key role in co-ordinating all six operating container deposit schemes (CDS) around Australia.

Coca-Cola also has a global goal to use at least 50 per cent recycled material across its packaging by 2030, with Australia already achieving this goal in plastic bottles.