Coca-Cola sustainability report outlines recycling efforts

Coca-Cola sustainability report outlines recycling efforts

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The Coca-Cola Co. has released its most recent sustainability report, which outlines the beverage giant's efforts to lessen its impact on the environment, including ways to make its packaging more sustainable.

In 2009, Coca-Cola distributed more than 10 billion of the bio-based PET PlantBottle beverage containers across 24 countries, which it notes are fully recyclable through conventional PET processes. The use of this material by Coke has eliminated the need for the equivalent of 200,000 barrels of oil since the plant-based PET bottle was first introduced in 2009. In September of this year, Coke announced a partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. to accelerate global production of plastic packaging made from plants. To support the partnership, JBF will build the world's largest facility to produce bioglycol — the key ingredient used to make PlantBottle PET resin.

Regarding sustainable packaging, Coke had set a goal of improving packaging material efficiency per liter of product sold by 7 percent compared with a 2008 baseline. The report designates this goal as being "in progress."

Coke has also set a goal to recover 50 percent of the equivalent bottles and cans it uses annually. This goal is also described as being "in progress," with the company estimating that it collects 37 percent of the equivalent bottles and cans it sends to market.

Lastly, Coke hopes to source 25 percent of its PET plastic from recycled or "renewable" material by 2015. The company currently only gets 5 percent of its packaging material from recycled or renewable materials.

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