Coca-Cola Amatil to Use Record Levels of Recycled Plastic in 2019
Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil are taking their waste reduction efforts to the next level by announcing a decision to make 70% of their plastic bottles entirely from recycled plastic by the end of this year.
The move by the two companies is suggested to be the “largest of its kind by a beverage company in Australia” and will significantly reduce the impact of the business’ operations on the environment.
Peter West, managing director of Australian Beverages at Coca-Cola Amatil, said the increase in the use of recycled plastic would reduce the amount of new plastic resin that the company uses by an estimated 10,000 tonnes each year from 2020 in comparison to the amount of plastic resin used by the company in 2018.
“We’ve heard the community message loud and clear -that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we need to do our part to reduce it nationwide.
“That’s why we’ve taken this step to make recycled plastic the norm in more than two-thirds of our Australian beverage product range.
“It’s the single largest increase in recycled plastic use in our history, and our strongest step forward in reducing packaging waste and the environmental impact of our operations.
”Mr West said Amatil’s increased use of recycled plastic followed initiatives such as the elimination of plastic straws, support for cost-effective well-run container deposit schemes and the company’s support for the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
Coca-Cola Amatil is responsible for the manufacture, package, distribution and sale of many iconic brands across Australia such as Coca Cola, Fanta, Lift, Sprite, Mount Franklin, Deep Spring, Pump, Powerade and many more. It is not hard to see how big a move such as this would have on the reuse of plastic across the entire market of bottled drinks in Australia. It will now set the bar for other companies to follow suit in an effort to keep up with their competition.
However, there is still an underlying issue with the use of recycled plastic. It is estimated that only 32% of all plastic waste is recycled. Of the roughly 32% of plastic that is recycled, a fair chunk of this is exported overseas with the treatment of recycled plastic thereafter relatively unknown.
This would indicate that if all drink manufacturers and manufacturers in general turned to using recycled plastics only, they would probably run out of recycled plastic to use; forcing them to turn back to introducing new plastics into the environment.
While this is a good step forward by Coca Cola Amatil, the reality is that there needs to be a greater emphasis placed on the lifecycle of recycling as well as the notion to reduce waste. Consumers who purchase the products need to be better educated in how they recycle, more efficient local processing and sorting plants need to be introduced into the local Australian market and more needs to be done with the packaging and labelling by manufacturers to make it more friendly toward recycling.