Empty bottles also matter! - Coca-Cola draws attention to the importance of selective waste collection

Plastic waste is a global issue – and we will only be able to solve it if all of us work together, from big companies to consumers. Coca-Cola is constantly working on a solution: the company’s sustainability commitments stated that they will reduce the amount of new plastic used in global manufacturing and their PET bottles will contain 50% recycled PET within the next ten years. The company also encourages consumers to be environmentally conscious: those who participate in Coca-Cola’s national recycling awareness campaign could gain valuable prizes and practical information.

Europe produces a huge amount of plastic: 58 million tonnes a year, 40 percent of which is for packaging. Food and beverage packaging is part of our modern everyday life: they ensure that products get delivered to consumers safely and hygienically. At the same time, packaging waste is one of the most burning global problems.

Part of the problem, but part of the solution as well

Of all the plastic produced in the European Union, 27.1 million tonnes waste is generated every year, and only 31.1 percent of that is recycled. Hungary contributes to this with 30.5 kilograms of packaging waste per person each year, and only 27.5 percent of it is recycled later. Large companies have a responsibility to ensure that these numbers change, less packaging waste is generated, and it won’t end up in a place where it shouldn’t be – e.g., our natural waters or municipal waste bins.

Coca-Cola is aware of being part of the problem, which is why the company wants to be part of the solution as well. With its World Without Waste strategy, the company is committed to continuously reducing the amount of new plastic used in global manufacturing and will produce all of its PET bottles from 50% recycled materials within the next ten years. In addition, the company will collect as many bottles and cans as they globally sell by 2030, and all of their (primary) packaging materials will be 100% recyclable. Due to the developments made so far in Hungary, 600 tonnes less plastic and about 170 tonnes less aluminum were used in domestic packaging production last year than in 2019. Furthermore, Coca-Cola has teamed up with the General Directorate of Water Management and the Plastic Cup to clean up the upper Tisza in Hungary. The company helped the initiative with a grant of HUF 73 million and the voluntary actions of its employees; they have processed 80 tonnes of waste since the summer of 2019.

Every bottle counts!

However, when it comes to a global issue like this, individual actions also matter. For example, if someone drinks three half-liter bottles of Coca-Cola a week and then throws the bottles in the selective bin, 3.12 kilograms of PET bottles can be recycled annually – which means that at a national level, nearly 30,500 tonnes of the company’s plastic bottles could be recycled. According to Eurobarometer’s data, 54% of the Hungarian population and 65% of the EU claims to collect plastic waste separately for the purpose of recycling.

To improve this ratio and to work for the environment together with consumers, Coca-Cola is launching a nationwide campaign to promote selective waste collection – taking another step towards a circular economy and a World Without Waste. The initiative includes a bottle cap code lottery with eco-friendly prizes like a bike or an electric car. The promotion will be available between the 18th of January and the 31st of March on, where in addition to the lottery, visitors can also find important information about selective waste collection.