Coca-Cola plans to tether the lids to its bottles to combat littering.
Earlier this week, the British arm of Coca-Cola announced that it has started rolling out new versions of its plastic bottles. The new bottles feature an attached cap, a design that is supposed to make it easier to recycle the whole package at once.
Plastic bottles of Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper should all have attached caps by early 2024, the company said. The transition only applies to UK bottles.
“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,” said Jon Woods, general manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, in a statement Tuesday.
The move comes on the back of the European Union (EU) requiring that caps be attached to some plastic bottles as part of its directive on single-use plastics. Many companies have until the end of 2024 to comply.
Responding to environmental concerns, Coca-Cola created the World Without Waste initiative, outlining plans to have better recycling habits with its consumers by 2030. Also part of the initiative: to make all its cans and bottles with 50% recycled material as well as packaging 100% recyclable.
Plastic waste is an environmental problem as plastics can end up hurt marine life by showing up on beaches or in landfills.
The nonprofit coalition Break Free From Plastic last October named Coca-Cola for the fourth consecutive year as the world’s worst plastic polluter, and in its annual report said the company’s recycling pledge is “having little impact on the environmental pollution caused by their products.”
“Coca-Cola’s attached caps are a distraction from the problem of plastics pollution,” said Graham Forbes, global plastics project lead at environmental advocacy group Greenpeace USA.
“The world is drowning in Coca-Cola’s plastic pollution, and this will not change that,” he said, adding the company should concentrate on developing systems for consumers to reuse and refill bottles.
“Coca-Cola wants to use less packaging where it can and to see all packaging it uses collected, reused or recycled,” a company spokesman said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WALL STREET JOURNAL