Coca-Cola: Switching screw caps to fibre-based alternatives

At a Glance
Who: Coca-Cola and Blue Ocean Closures
What: Innovative fibre-based screw cap
Where: Brussels, Belgium
Why: Advancing sustainable packaging, reducing non-renewable materials
When: Ongoing

The Challenge

The challenge revolves around reducing the environmental impact of packaging closures. Traditional plastic closures contribute to plastic pollution and are not easily recyclable.

Approximately 30% of the plastic produced in 2019 was not properly managed, with the majority originating from packaging used for consumer goods. Globally, recycling rates remained stagnant at approximately 9%.

Coca-Cola aims to transition away from fossil-based plastics in packaging while maintaining functionality and sustainability.

The Solution

Blue Ocean Closures offers a revolutionary fibre-based screw cap that is fully biobased, ocean biodegradable, and recyclable as paper. Their innovative approach combines material expertise with cost-effective production methods, using advanced vacuum press forming. This technology results in closures that are not only eco-friendly but also offer the necessary functionality for various beverage containers.

How the Project Works

Blue Ocean Closures is introducing an innovative fibre-based screw cap that is biobased, ocean biodegradable, and recyclable as paper.

This partnership marks a significant step towards Coca-Cola’s commitment to sustainable packaging and its “World Without Waste” strategy.

Blue Ocean Closures’ technology leverages sustainably sourced FSC fibre material to create a thin top-seal barrier layer for screw caps. This approach ensures excellent definition and stability while accommodating different types of filled goods. The production process focuses on biobased, ocean biodegradable, and recyclable materials, aligning well with Coca-Cola’s sustainability goals.

The Results

Blue Ocean Closures’ innovative screw caps contribute to reducing plastic waste, promoting biodegradability, and advancing the recyclability of packaging components, aligning with Coca-Cola’s vision of a more sustainable future.

Business Benefits

This partnership benefits both Coca-Cola and Blue Ocean Closures. Coca-Cola gains access to innovative sustainable packaging technology, enhancing its competitive advantage in the beverage industry, in line with its goal to make 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025. For Blue Ocean Closures, collaboration with a global brand like Coca-Cola validates its mission and provides an opportunity for broader market adoption of its innovative closures.


Specific financial details are not available. However, the investment in sustainable packaging solutions is expected to yield long-term savings through reduced reliance on non-renewable materials and decreased environmental impact.

Industry Context

In 2021, the global beverage industry’s emissions amounted to a significant 1.5 billion tons of CO2e, representing 3.8% of total global emissions. While there was a considerable 6% reduction in CO2e emissions per litre from 2018 to 2021, the industry’s current decarbonisation rate of 0.7% per year falls short of the ambitious long-term goals needed for effective change. Research underscores the necessity for an 11-fold improvement in reduction rates to meet the net-zero targets set for 2030 and 2050.

Additionally, analysis conducted by the World Economic Forum paints a concerning picture of plastic usage. Presently, only 16% of plastics are being recycled, with the majority either ending up in landfills for incineration or, even worse, simply being discarded.

Furthermore, the issue extends to plastic caps, which constitute more than 6% of the total waste contaminating our oceans. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent demand for more sustainable packaging solutions to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution.

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