17 July 2017 by Steve Eminton

Coca-Cola backs changes to PRN system

Coca-Cola has thrown its support behind the idea of changes to the PRN system including support for materials to be recycled in the UK rather than overseas.


Coca-Cola is supportive of the PRN system with some modifications

Alongside last week’s announcement on a move towards a 50% recycled PET content for its bottles by 2020, the soft drinks giant has said that it supports a “new producer responsibility system that works for everyone in the value chain”.

Included within its ideas for a revised PRN (packaging waste recovery note) system, are the call for supporting British processing and reprocessing and incentives for the use of recycled material.


And, Coca-Cola also wants those who design packaging to be easily recycled to be financially rewarded and is seeking the introduction of “more stretching targets to help drive behaviours”.

The company argues that the administrations in “Westminster and Holyrood” need to speed up work on creating consistency in collections and communications in recycling, learning from the positive experiences of Wales.

And, it notes: “A reformed PRN system could support this work – particularly in providing the funds necessary to communicate effectively with consumers”.

The Plastipak rPET bottle recycling facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire which supplies material to Coca-Cola

Some of Coca-Colas’s ideas have recently been reflected in a future options paper drawn up by the largest packaging waste compliance scheme, Valpak (see letsrecycle.com story).


Coca-Cola said: “We welcome the fact that compliance body, Valpak, has launched a consultation into PRN reform and would urge all businesses to support the need for far-reaching changes to the current system.”

On Deposit Return Schemes, Coca-Cola said that it recognises that DRS is not a universally popular position and that the immediate opportunity to improve packaging recycling lies in reform of the current producer responsibility (PRN) system in Great Britain.

However, Coca-Cola is committed to a DRS trial but notes: “It’s clear that genuine reform of the current PRN system could result in a more effective household collection scheme – as well as introducing new requirements to improve recycling for all businesses selling food and drink products. This could be complemented by a well-designed DRS system, targeting drinks products consumed on-the-go, such as small PET bottles.”

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