Sustainable Packaging and Recycling
Packaging is essential to safeguard the quality and safe delivery of our drinks, both to customers and consumers; however it is also an important resource. It can be carbon intensive in its manufacture and too often ends up in landfill, even though nearly all our packaging materials can be recycled. We want to change this and support the commitments of a circular economy; ensuring maximum value can be gained from the efficient use of resources.
Our commitment: we will set the standard for sustainable packaging, achieve zero waste in our operations and recycle more packaging than we use.
We are looking at every aspect of our packaging from design, disposal, material used, weight, recovery, and recycling, in order to reduce our carbon footprint and optimise resources.
Each year we continue to challenge ourselves to evolve and innovate our packaging, to use less material, use more recycled and renewable materials and ensure our packs are recyclable.
By 2020, we also aim to recycle more packaging than we use – a commitment which is central to our sustainable packaging and low-carbon commitments. We focus on three stages of the packaging lifecycle: consumer behaviour and disposal, collecting and sorting, and re-use and reprocessing.
Reduce by 25% the amount of material we use across all packaging formats by 2020
Include recycled aluminium, steel and glass in respective packaging formats
Ensure that our PET bottles set the standard for sustainable packaging, using the optimal combination of recycled PET and PET from plant-based materials by 2020
Ensure 100% of our cans and bottles are fully recyclable by 2014
Send zero waste to landfill from our own manufacturing sites and reduce the amount of waste we generate by 2014
Recycle more packaging than we use, by championing improvements to collection schemes and investing in strategic recycling infrastructure projects by 2020
Increase packaging recovery rates by using our brands to educate and inspire consumers to recycle more often
We will deliver our Sustainable Packaging and Recycling commitments by using less material, using sustainable materials, and re-using our materials.
Using recycled and renewable materials
Recycled materials play an important role within a circular economy, which is why we are committed to using recycled material in our packaging. Currently, we are using an average of 32% recycled materials in our packaging and we want to increase this amount.
In recent years, we have invested over $18 million in two joint-ventures to improve the capacity for plastics reprocessing in our two largest markets: Great Britain and France – ensuring there is a pipeline of available recycled PET (rPET) in these countries.
Renewable materials is another area we are pioneering in order to reduce the use of virgin PET in our packaging. Many of our products and territories now use PlantBottle™, a plastic material that contains up to 22.5 % plant-based material and 25 % recycled PET.
Consumer behaviour and recycling
We are working in partnership with a wide range of partners and we're using our brand marketing to encourage consumers to recycle more. For example, through campaigns with NGOs, government, industry bodies, local authorities and our retailer customers and through our 'Happiness Recycled' campaigns at outdoor festivals and events.
As part of our ‘Recycle for the Future’ campaign, we want to better understand how to increase at-home recycling. Working with the University of Exeter we have discovered more about people’s recycling habits and are now using these findings to launch a new on line recycling challenged with OpenIDEO.
Collection and sorting
To reduce the amount of packaging sent to landfill, we're investing and working with others to develop recovery infrastructure and boost recovery rates. In particular, we want to work with policymakers and regulators to improve household recycling programs and make them simple to understand and use. We remain committed to ensuring a higher recycling target for the industry and to playing our part in achieving it.
We have also been working hard at our own operations. In 2013, 99.5% of our manufacturing waste was recycled and 14 of our plants achieved zero waste to landfill.
Through a process we call lightweighting, we’re constantly redesigning our packaging to reduce its weight, without compromising its quality. We use environmental assessment methodologies to identify opportunities and we monitor improvements made by tracking the average total weight of packaging per litre of product. In 2013 we used 119.8g/litre of product, 3% less than in 2012, through projects such as reducing the weight of our 500ml PET bottles from 24.7g to 21.7g across all our territories and continuing to reduce the weight of our aluminum cans with our lightest now being 10g.