Coke cans plastic shrink-wrap

Coca-Cola cardboard multipacks

Coca-Cola has announced plans to use cardboard instead of plastic shrink-wrap on all its UK can multipacks.

The move will affect 30 million packs annually and is part of a scheme that will cut 4,000 tonnes of plastic from Coke’s western European supply chain.

The 100% recyclable, sustainably sourced cardboard will be introduced over the next 18 months on 4-, 6- and 8-packs of cans across all brands, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Lilt. Multipacks of 10 cans or more are already wrapped in cardboard.

The plastic shrink-wrap currently used is actually recyclable. However, only 10% of local authorities collect it, compared to the 98% that accept cardboard as part of household recycling.

Switching all the soft drinks giant’s canning lines to cardboard was described as “a complex project” by Leendert den Hollander, the Vice President and General Manager for Coca-Cola European Partners.

He added: “But we believe it is the right thing to do and we would encourage others in the sector to follow our lead.”

The switch is the latest change from Coca-Cola as part of its sustainable packaging strategy, launched in 2017, in which it set out its ambition to work with others to ensure that all of its packaging is recovered so that more is recycled and none ends up as waste.