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by Jim Fox, Coca-Cola
23 May 2022
Associate Feature: Creating a World Without Waste from East Kilbride

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Associate Feature: Creating a World Without Waste from East Kilbride

Our manufacturing site in East Kilbride has played a key role in many of the business’ major sustainability milestones and ‘firsts’ over the years. From kicking off production for our bottles made from 100% recycled plastic when the business made the switch across our 500ml range last year, to leading on the transition from plastic to paper straws for our Capri-Sun pouches, East Kilbride has been right at the forefront of sustainable packaging innovation, every step of the way.

And now, it will become the first site to manufacture our brand-new 1.5L bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke with attached caps. 

This innovative redesign means that the lid will remain attached to its bottle, wherever it goes, preventing it from being discarded or thrown away separately. This will make it easier than before to recycle the entire bottle, ensuring that as much plastic as possible is recycled and ensure no caps get left behind.

We are the first major soft drinks supplier to announce the switch to new attached caps to our plastic bottles across our entire portfolio. Starting here in East Kilbride, Scotland, the full transition is set to be complete for all plastic bottles manufactured across our sites in GB by early 2024.

While it might sound like a small change, it’s one that will make a significant difference. The milestone forms part of our ongoing efforts to improve recycling rates, which is vital to increasing the amount of quality material being recovered that can be reused. Our ambition is to use 100% recycled plastic to make all of our bottles, so by ensuring they are being recycled we can start to increase our use of recycled material across all of our packaging. It is this ongoing innovation that will incrementally take us towards a circular economy and help us build a World Without Waste.

And these innovations are taking place right here from East Kilbride, – the site is a fantastic example of how, step by step, we can help to deliver a big impact. We’ve been using 100% renewable energy at the site for more than ten years, we’ve sent zero waste to landfill for the same period of time, and since 2010 we’ve reduced the site’s carbon footprint by 47%. 
But these changes are all part of our larger ambition - CCEP’s This is Forward sustainability action plan, and feeds into the business’ overall social and environmental goals – including our 2040 net zero target.

As the producer of some of the most well-known and loved brands globally, we know it’s our responsibility to ensure we’re always innovating and moving forward by putting ourselves at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing innovation, no matter how small a change might seem.
We also know collaboration will be key to achieving our ambitions. We’re working with industry partners on new innovations in sustainable packaging, such as paper bottles and refillables. Partners including CuRe Technology are helping us find ways to provide a new lease of life for difficult to recycle polyester waste and we’ve recently invested in Lavit, a leading maker of multi-beverage, counter-top dispensing machines to explore and test new dispensed delivery solutions.
In addition, we’re working with Circularity Scotland to support the implementation of an effective Deposit Return Scheme, which will help us to recover more high-quality plastic to be reused. These cross-industry partnerships are essential in accelerating our progress and journey to Net Zero.

Together with our colleagues, partners and customers, we’re shifting the dial on climate change and creating real change, one step at a time. 

This article is sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

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Read the most recent article written by Jim Fox, Coca-Cola - Associate Feature: Supporting a circular economy in Scotland.

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