Coca-Cola agrees to adopt on-pack recycling label

Coca-Cola has joined a national recycling label packaging scheme in a bid to educate consumers about the recyclability of its plastic bottles.

The drinks brand will initially adopt the on-pack recycling label (OPRL) logo, administered by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), on 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and Diet Coke before rolling it across other lines.

The OPRL logo provides standardised information on which packaging materials local authorities collect for recycling. Despite the vast majority of councils offering kerbside collection schemes for plastic bottles, consumers are only recycling around half of the amount they could.

Coke’s packaging drive is being driven forward in the UK by bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), which supplies 160,000 outlets with around 1.8bn litres of soft drinks a year.

According to CCE’s recycling director Patrick McGuirk, the company is serious about setting the industry standard for sustainable packaging in the UK.

“Our research shows consumers will recycle more if they know what can be recycled. We have had a recycling logo on our packs for many years, but the inclusion of OPRL information makes it easier for consumers to recycle their bottles through kerbside collection schemes.

“Our message is simple – recycle your bottle at home and it can be back on the shelf within six weeks.”

The BRC says that CCE’s adoption of the scheme will see a significant increase in the number of bottles and cans which will now carry this clearer recycling advice.

Its director of food & sustainability Andrew Opie added: “It’s great to welcome Coca-Cola Enterprises to the list of nearly 150 signatories, particularly because of what we hope this will mean for plastic bottle recycling. Just five out of every 10 plastic bottles sold in the UK is recycled and we would like to see much more.

Maxine Perella

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