World Without Waste

Corporate sustainability and social responsibility are indispensable elements of the corporate culture of Coca-Cola HBC. As a responsible economic operator, we consider it important to manage the environmental risks arising from our operations and to make a positive contribution to the protection of our environment and natural resources in many different areas.

We are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our own operations. Improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responsible water management, and the collection and reuse of packaging waste all contribute to a more sustainable environment. In addition, we ensure that the development of responsible, sustainable operating processes goes hand in hand with raising the awareness of our employees and consumers, as we believe that wide-ranging cooperation is the foundation of our success. Our sustainability strategy and objectives are inextricably linked to our business goals, and sustainable operations are the driving force behind our growth.

 A core pillar in our sustainability strategy is the enhanced commitment toward “World Without Waste”, although our initiatives are not ended there. We are continuously working on to conduct sustainable circulation of our products’ whole lifecycle. That includes the procurement process of raw materials, design of products and packaging, production processes and also social engagement for common goals.

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Towards World Without Waste

Packaging waste is a strategic environmental issue for Coca-Cola HBC Hungary: it is an issue related to our basic business process, the solution of which is becoming increasingly urgent. Appropriate packaging is essential to keep our products fresh and also for food safety aspects.  At the same time, the long-term impact of packaging materials, especially plastic packaging, on the environment has made it clear that we need to find new, sustainable solutions.

We are committed to being not only actors but also engines of change. Our approach and goals for the greater sustainability of packaging have been consolidated in our “World Without Waste” strategy announced in early 2018. With the strategy, the Coca-Cola HBC AG company-group is closely linked to the efforts of The Coca-Cola Company, and we consider it a priority to work together and through a variety of means for this common cause. The recycling of waste is a priority among our sustainability goals.

World Without Waste: Our Commitment
  • By 2030 all primary packaging must be 100 percent recyclable - PET bottles used by Coca-Cola HBC Hungary are 100 percent recyclable;
  • An increased proportion of recycled PET should be used to produce PET bottles – 35 percent by 2025 and – 50 percent by 2030;
  • By 2025, 75 percent of beverage packaging should be collected, and by 2030, 100 percent.

Packaging Design and Development

We sell most of our products in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, as primary packaging material that we manufacture at our plants. Besides bottles, screw caps lead to significant plastic waste at the end of their life-cycle.

In addition, aluminium cans and glass bottles are presenting another major part of our products. These materials’ advantage relies on their recycling process, which has less environmental impact compared PET bottles. Thus, our aim is to actively support the implementation and development of these packaging solutions. In order to increase effective recycling and to decrease the environmental footprint of our products, we have outlined an innovative packaging design for waste reduction and material usage, while continuously improving our packaging technologies.

Innovative packaging design & development is based on three pillars:

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Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's PET bottles are 100 percent recyclable. In order to appropriately recycle PET bottles, selective collection and re-collection are necessary processes. Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary waste we inform our customers about the importance of recycling. Our new caps are intended to raise customers’ awareness of this issue.

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"Look at the cap, recycle the bottle!”

In 2019, Coca-Cola Hungary has established a new approach towards plastic waste management. In this manner, our cups feature new slogans (e.g. I am not trash! Recycle me!) instead of the brand logos, encouraging customers to recycle. The graphic design of caps advocates recycling and adequate collection of plastic materials, activities that support a sustainable cycle of plastic waste management.

According to previous years’ practices, we have continued to reduce the weight of our bottles. Due to our projects in 2019, the overall reduction of PET bottles was 2.1 tonnes, while the waste of aluminium cans will be reduced by 170 tonnes from 2020 on. Due to a new palletizing technique of aluminium products, we have managed to reduce our plastic film consumption by 50 percent in 2019. Thanks to our recent developments, today we need 15 percent less plastic to manufacture one PET bottle than in 2010.

We continuously seek to increase the percentage of recycled plastics (rPET) used in our beverage packaging. In 2020, this figure reached 16,8 percent, although in some cases we face obstacles from procurement or from the regulatory side hindering our ambitious efforts to increase rPET rate in products. Nevertheless, our company continuously pursues holding meaningful discussions with regulatory bodies and monitoring of market opportunities and drawbacks, in order to optimize rPET rate usage at a rational cost level.

As part of our strategy, we have always encouraged the implementation of new, innovative solutions and sustainable technologies, that are intended to reduce plastic packaging materials and, consequently, the environmental footprint of our company.

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KeelClip™ packaging technology on multipack cans

Coca-Cola HBC group and its European partners as pioneers, have begun rolling out the KeelClip™, an innovative, minimalist paperboard packaging solution, on multipack cans across Europe. This new packaging solution representing a first for the non-alcohol ready-to-drink (NARTD) industry is based on a recyclable paperboard “topper” that will replace plastic shrink film in all can multipacks. This pioneering multipack packaging solution supports Coca‑Cola’s global goals to work towards a World Without Waste, where all packaging is collected, recycled and reused. Accordingly, it will save 2,000 tonnes of plastic and 3,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. In Hungary, this initiative is going to be introduced from the first quarter of 2021.

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Coca-Cola bottles made of paper, or even marine waste

The Coca-Cola Company puts huge effort into finding new, sustainable ways of packaging. In 2019, The Company has manufactured its first 300 sample bottles, which have partially been produced from recycled marine trash. Twenty-five per cent of the bottles were made from recycled plastic, collected from the Mediterranean Sea, Spanish and Portuguese coasts. This new chemical recycling technology proves, in practice, that it is possible to produce bottles from marine waste, or even from lower quality and tinted plastic, something which was no possible before.

 

 

Thanks to a HUF 500 million project investment, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has developed new NaturAqua Mineral Water glass bottles, which are available in hotels and restaurants (in other words Horeca sector) from mid-2019. The renewed bottles can be completely recycled, after collecting and washing them, as worn-down glass has become part of the industrial cycle by grinding. The current investment includes, among other things, the technological transformations of the filler, bottle tester, bottle washer and label, as well as the replacement of the glass fleet.

We are continuously seeking new opportunities to redesign secondary packaging materials as well. Many of our products are available in multipack form, packed by printed shrink wrap. In collaboration with our shrink film manufacturers, we are working on new technologies aiming to reduce plastic waste by decreasing the weight and thickness of the produced shrink wraps.

 

 

In the summer of 2019, Coca-Cola Hungary joined efforts with water management authorities and an NGO and committed to clean up Hungary's second largest river, the Tisza. In the course of the two-years-long Zero Waste Tisza River program, nearly 170 employees of the company have taken part in three actions with the Plastic Cup volunteers, where they have cleaned the river from a total of 7 tonnes of waste. Coca-Cola's global philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation supported the programme with 250,000 USD, and as a result, nearly 80 tonnes of waste were taken out of the river in this period.

The Zero Waste Tisza River program gave much more than just short-term waste collection to the river and program participants: they started GPS-based tracking for waste mapping, built the first Kisköre River Saver Center and, using plastic as a useful secondary raw material, crafted prototypes of a unique Plastic Kayak. Based on the successes of the last years, the program has earned its next phase and another $150,000 grant, thus the Tisza clean-up and education program can continue for another full year from September 2021. In this next phase, the goal is to execute programs that can reach significant behaviour change at the source of the river Tisza, to get closer to the sources of the problem and to find a long-term solution.


BACKGROUND OF THE COLLABORATION

A significant amount of driftwood, organic material and communal waste go down in the river Tisza with the floods every year. In 2019, after the spring floods, a record amount of waste consisting of driftwood and household garbage – mainly plastic – has hit the Kisköre dam again. The size of the drift-field reached 17,000 square metres and was more than 3 metres high right at the dam. A collaboration was needed to effectively solve this problem. Water management authorities, civilian and industry players – the General Directorate of Water Management, Plastic Cup and CocaCola Hungary announced in the summer of 2019 that they were prepared to manage the challenge collectively. The Plastic Cup has held waste collecting activities on the Upper Tisza for years, which the CocaCola joined so that they could help manage the situation with its employees volunteer work and a financial support of 250,000 USD (approx. 73 million HUF) provided by the global foundation of the company. The Zero Waste Tisza River program was launched in the summer of 2019, aimed at providing constant protection, waste collection and recycling – by cleaning up the river in an increasing proportion.


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Employees of Coca-Cola Hungary actively contributed to the implementation and the success of the project.

Nearly 70 enthusiastic employees participated in the cleaning of the Kisköre section of the river on the 26th of July 2019. On this day, volunteers of the company and Plastic Cup collected the waste – mostly plastic – stuck in the reeds and floating on the surface of the water into bags. The bags full of waste were collected by the PETényi “waste-eater boat” the peculiarity of which being that it hovers on many plastic bottles formerly removed from Tisza. Their hard work was reflected by the numbers at the end of the day as nearly 1,5 tonnes of waste were gauged. The 1,5 tonnes of waste were sorted out and recycled properly after that.

 

During the second activity on the 27th of September, nearly 100 Coca-Cola employees travelled to the port of Tiszanána, Dinnyéshát, to join the cause of the World Cleanup Day on the 21st of September. The participants collected waste from the water surface, reeds, and floodplains on canoe, and they also sorted the waste to recycle the suitable pieces. The results of this second action exceeded the first: they cleaned Tisza of 170 bags and more than 1,8 tonnes of waste - including municipal waste, glass, metal, and plastic garbage. Most of these were sorted in place depending on their type.

The third volunteer day took place between the 28th of February and the 1st of March 2020, in Tiszaszalka. During the weekend, one of the most polluted floodplain forests of Tisza, Natura 2000 was cleaned of the waste accumulated there, with the help of Plastic Cup and CocaCola Hungary volunteers. Just like in 2019, CocaCola Hungary provided accommodation and catering for all volunteers participating in the project through The CocaCola Foundation in 2020 as well. The professional handling, delivery and recycling of garbage is ensured by the Association of Environmental Service Providers and Manufacturers, the National Coordination of Waste Management and Asset Management Plc and the North-Alföld Environment Management Ltd. Based on the previous experiences and the high number of participants, approximately 3 tonnes of waste was collected over the three days.

the next phase                                           2021-2022

Thanks to success of the program, the Tisza clean-up and education program can continue for another full year from September 2021, with an additional $150,000 grant. In this next phase, the goal is to execute programs that can reach significant behaviour change at the source of the river Tisza, to get closer to the sources of the problem and to find a long-term solution.

The official closure of the first two-year phase and the announcement about its continuation was topped with a volunteering day on the 27th of August 2021 in Kisköre. More than 50 Coca-Cola volunteers collected nearly 650 kg of waste, which was later sorted with the help of Plastic Cup volunteers.

Since the extension of the program, two more corporate volunteer days have taken place on July 15 and September 16, 2022, hosted by Dinnyéshát and Tiszaderzs. More than 90 Coca-Cola volunteers contributed to the success of the Zero Waste Tisza River program by collecting a total of nearly 2.5 tons of waste.


Coca-Cola Hungary for the circular economy

One of the driving forces of Coca-Cola Hungary's activities is to be at the forefront of replacing take-make-dispose practices in the linear economy. We strive to help build a closed-loop economic model that is built on resource efficiency and innovation, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint.

We want to build a future in which the unnecessary or wasteful use of the raw materials we use is avoided and materials retain their value within the cycle for a long time. In the case of packaging, we want to apply these principles at the stages of design, development, use of raw materials and production. If the cycle is closed, the collection and recycling of packaging is not only a theoretical possibility but a reality, and packaging materials will not endanger the environment or terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

We strive for conscious and responsible use of resources in our manufacturing processes. Our goal is to design our water, waste and energy management in a way that they help reduce our environmental footprint. In the interests of responsible resource management, we are also constantly striving to improve our carbon footprint.

We cannot realize our circular vision alone. The circular economy is built on collaboration, where we work with consumers, decision-makers, industry and professional organisations for a common goal. The creation of a circular economy requires such multi-player cooperation, which we at Coca-Cola Hungary are also trying to encourage. In this way, we strive for active dialogue and cooperation with both suppliers and regulatory bodies and consumers, so that the collection of waste from beverage packaging can take place as much as possible in Hungary.

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