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Coca-Cola introduces innovative PlantBottle™ packaging to Great Britain

Monday, September 12, 2011

Coca-Cola Great-Britain is today rolling out its innovative PlantBottle™ packaging, taking the next step on its journey seeking to develop a truly sustainable plastic bottle. The move will help decrease the company's reliance on fossil fuels for its plastic and strengthen its contribution to greater use of renewable and recycled materials.

From today in Great Britain, all Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and diet Coke in 500ml bottles will be sold in PlantBottle™ packaging: PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles made partially from plants.

More than 200 million PlantBottle™ packages will hit the shelves in the UK this year, part of a rollout of genuine scale: globally this year more than 5 billion PlantBottle™ range packs will be on the market in 20 countries.

The company's vision is that all its plastic bottles will be made from a combination of plant-based materials and recycled PET plastic by 2020.

The packaging has a lower reliance on non-renewable resources compared to traditional PET plastic bottles and is fully recyclable. With exactly the same visual appearance as 'regular' plastic bottles, consumers will be able to identify the new bottles through on-pack messaging and a new logo.

Just over half of all The Coca-Cola Company drinks globally are sold in PET plastic bottles and these are traditionally made entirely from petroleum and other non-renewable fossil fuels.  By contrast, the new PlantBottle™ packaging in Great Britain is made from up to 22.5% plant-based material and up to 25% recycled PET plastic.  The plant-based component of the new bottle is sourced from bioethanol from sugarcane. The Coca-Cola Company has been working closely with WWF and the Bonsucro organisation to choose sugarcane from plantations in Brazil, sources widely recognised by thought leaders for their environmental and social performance.  

In launching the bottles today, Coca-Cola Great Britain is also calling on its consumers to play their part and keep recycling empty bottles.  PlantBottle™ packaging can be recycled in exactly the same way alongside traditional PET bottles. The material in PlantBottle™ packaging can therefore be used, recycled and reused again and again.

Today's announcement builds on the company's leadership in the development of recycling initiatives for its packaging. The Coca-Cola Company was the first to introduce a bottle containing recycled plastic (in 1991) and has invested significant resources in recycling reprocessing and infrastructure in numerous countries where it does business. These efforts are all focussed on helping to "close the loop" on packaging re-use and with the ultimate goal of providing more sustainable packaging for consumers.

Patrick McGuirk, Recycling Director at Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) said today:

"We are absolutely committed to making a positive difference - to the health of our planet, individuals and communities. The PlantBottle™ package is a bottle we can all feel good about and is a significant step on our journey towards more sustainable packaging.

"It looks, feels and functions just like a normal plastic bottle, but it helps reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources.

"While we're proud of today's PlantBottle™ packaging, we're already hard at work to evolve the next generation of packaging. We're especially excited about the potential to develop recyclable plastic from natural, renewable resources like stems, fruit peels and bark, which can be sourced from almost anywhere in the world. We're not there yet as a commercial product, but, working with our research partners, we think we'll get there in the next three to five years."

Patrick Laine, Director of Corporate Partnerships at WWF UK said:

"Coca-Cola's aspiration to use packaging that is 100% sourced from renewable resources and compatible with existing recycling systems is highly commendable.  This product launch is an important milestone for the industry in the journey to truly sustainable packaging."

Learn more about PlantBottle™ packaging and Coca-Cola's sustainability initiatives and goals at

Notes to editors

From today, PlantBottle™ packaging will be used in 500ml bottles for the following Coca-Cola brands on shelves across the UK:

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. Diet Coke
  3. Coke Zero
  4. Coca-Cola Cherry
  5. Diet Coke with Cherry
  6. Caffeine Free Diet Coke
  7. Diet Coke Citrus Zest

About PlantBottle™ packaging:

  • PlantBottle™ packaging is a fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants 
  • Our PlantBottle™ packaging in GB is made with up to 22.5% plant-based material, up to 25% recycled PET plastic and is 100% recyclable
  • The launch of PlantBottle™ packaging is the next step on Coca-Cola's journey seeking to create a genuinely sustainable bottle for the future:

    • 1991: launch of the first drinks bottle containing recycled materials
    • 2009: launch of the first ever global PlantBottle™ packaging in Copenhagen
    • 2011: launch of the fully recyclable PlantBottle™ packaging further into Europe
    • 2020: it is our aspiration that all PET plastic bottles will be made from a combination of recycled PET (rPET) and plant-based materials

-          Globally, we have been working hard over the past four years toward  this goal

-          Several approaches to a PET package made fully from plants have been successfully demonstrated in a lab. Currently, we are working to advance this breakthrough science to ensure it is commercially viable 

-          We welcome others in the industry joining us in advancing the science behind packaging made from plants

  • This year we aim to more than double our global use of PlantBottle™ packaging as we continue to take steps to transition all of our plastic bottles to PlantBottle™ packaging by 2020.

For further information please visit our 2010/11 corporate responsibility and sustainability report at

About Coca-Cola Enterprises

To find out about Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) and our business operations in GB, click on the link below:

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