Coca Cola pioneers lighter drinks can

Drinks giant Coca Cola has managed to shave five per cent off the weight of its cans in a move set to save 15,000 tonnes of aluminium in the EU each year.

With such a major player in the soft drinks industry adopting the new design there has been a knock-on effect, with the UK Government’s Waste & Recycling Action Programme (WRAP) saying the new specification has already set a new standard across the industry.

6.5 billion of the new, light-weight cans have already hit shop shelves throughout the EU.

A WRAP report into the new specification can suggests it will cut emissions of CO2 by 78,000 tonnes per year as raw materials and energy used in their manufacture and transport are reduced.

Hubert Patricot, European president for Coca-Cola said: “This work has changed the design of aluminium drinks cans forever.

“We are committed to improving the sustainability of our business all the time. This project is delivering a significant reduction to the packaging carbon footprint of our business across Europe.”

The weight reductions have been made by using thinner sheets of metal to make the sides of the can.

In the new cans, the metal is now less than a tenth of a millimetre thick – about as thick as a human hair.

The cans are just as strong as before.

Richard Swannell, director of retail at WRAP said: “We are delighted to have achieved such ground breaking results and it just shows what cross-industry partnership working can deliver.

“Smarter packaging can deliver not only tangible cost savings to the supply chain, but also environmental benefits that help Europe tackle the joint challenges of climate change and resource efficiency.”

David Gibbs

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