Coke turns ocean plastic into new bottles

Coke bottle made from marine plastic

Coca-Cola has unveiled its first-ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, to show that ocean debris can be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks.

About 300 sample bottles were made using 25% recycled marine plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean sea and beaches.

The bottles demonstrate the potential of new enhanced recycling technologies, which can recycle previously used PET plastics of any quality back to food-grade plastic – including material that would previously have been sent to incineration or landfill.

The sample bottle is the first-ever bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for use in food and drink packaging.

It was developed as proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time. In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables. From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.

A newly formed Packaging Innovation Hub will continue to focus and accelerate investment and innovation in sustainable packaging solutions across Western Europe. These include continuing investment in enhanced recycling technologies, as well as alternative packaging solutions for the future, such as paper bottles, bio-based packaging materials, refillable-returnable and packaging-free alternatives, like its dispensed Freestyle or wider micro-dosing solutions.