The company said that production of bottles with attached caps will begin today (17 May) at its site in East Kilbride, Scotland. This will be followed by its facility in Edmonton, North London, and the rest of its of its UK sites over the next 18 months.
The move is set to cover the entire portfolio of brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite and others. It is planned to begin in Scotland this month and roll out across Great Britain, with new caps attached to 1.5l bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke.
The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.
Last year the company announced that it had reached its target of using 100% recycled plastic – excluding caps and labels – in all its 500ml or smaller bottles sold in Great Britain ahead of the plastics packaging tax taking effect.
The company joined a string of others in doing so, which has played a part in demand and prices for recycled plastic soaring in recent months.
Stephen Moorhouse, general manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain said: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.”
Coca-Cola explained that bottle caps are often discarded and littered. The new design means that the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening, so the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together reducing the potential for it to be littered.
This move was welcomed by Jo Churchill, resources and waste minister, who commented: “More businesses are finding innovative ways to tackle harmful plastic pollution and Coca-Cola’s new design will make it easier for people to recycle and help reduce litter.”
The minister also added that the government is “committed to boosting recycling across the country with the Environment Act creating a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, making manufacturers more responsible for their packaging, and putting in place consistent recycling collections.”