Coca-Cola introduces attached caps to cut litter and boost recycling

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Coca-Cola is moving to attached caps across its entire drinks range in an effort to boost recycling and prevent litter.

The move by Coca-Cola Great Britain, which it said is a first for a major soft drinks company, aims to make it easier for consumers to recycle the entire package.

Consumers will start to see the change on 1.5 litre bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke in Scotland this month, with the switch set to be completed for all plastic bottles across the range of brands by early 2024.

The caps are often discarded and littered despite all of Coca-Cola’s bottles, including the caps, being 100% recyclable.

Coca-Cola Great Britain general manager Jon Woods said: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.

“As the world’s biggest drinks company, we recognise that we have a leading role to play in pushing innovation and design to produce more high-quality recycled plastic which can be converted into new bottles.”

Adam Herriott, from waste reduction organisation Wrap, said: “This great move from Coca-Cola Great Britain supports the ongoing work with the UK Plastics Pact in trying to ensure that as much plastic packaging is captured and recycled as possible.

“In 2020, we saw the amount of plastic packaging being recycled increase from 44% to 52%. The small changes are what adds up to make a big difference and when it comes to recycling, the higher quality of the material the better.

“We look forward to seeing more innovations in this area”.

Resources and waste minister Jo Churchill said: “More businesses are finding innovative ways to tackle harmful plastic pollution and Coca-Cola’s new design will make it easier for people to recycle and help reduce litter.”

The move is the latest in a series of initiatives by brands and retailers under the UK Plastics Pact to reduce plastic waste and boost recycling.

However, a deposit return scheme – planned since 2018 – has been repeatedly delayed.

The Government pledged to bring in the provision in 2023 but a recent consultation indicated a scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be up and running until late 2024 at the earliest.

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