Coca-Cola has unveiled a bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastic, designed to show how ocean debris can be used in packaging for food or drink.

Coca-Cola Marine Bottle

As part of a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The Coca-Cola Company, around 300 sample bottles have been made using 25% recycled marine plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.

The bottles are designed to show the transformational potential of enhanced recycling technologies, which can recycle previously used PET plastics of any quality back to high-quality plastic that can be used for food or drink packaging.

The recycling intiative coincides with the announcement that Coca-Cola has committed to further goals on sustainable packaging acrossWestern Europe. These include:

Working to remove all unnecessary or hard to recycle plastic from its portfolio; Working towards 100% recycled or renewable materials in all of its plastic bottles; Support for well-designed deposit return schemes across Western Europe and; Transparent disclosure of its packaging footprint on an annual basis by packaging type.

Tim Brett, president for Coca-Cola Western Europe, said: “Too many of the world’s finite resources are currently discarded as waste. We know we need to do more to correct this. The targets we have set out today are ambitious and rightly so. There is a valuable role for packaging, but it must always be collected, recycled and reused. Our aim, working in partnership, is to see the term “single-use plastic” become redundant, both in our business and beyond, as all of our plastic – and indeed all of our packaging - is delivered within a closed loop”.

Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola in Western Europe, added: “This bottle is testament to what can be achieved, through partnership and investment in revolutionary new technologies. In bringing together partners from across our supply chain, from a community clean up partnership in Spain and Portugal to an investment in technological innovation in the Netherlands, we have been able, for the first time, to bring damaged marine plastic back to food-grade material to make new bottles.

“Enhanced recycling technologies are enormously exciting, not just for us but for industry and society at large. They accelerate the prospect of a closed loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill.”

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 invest in sustainable packaging solutions across the brand’s Western Europe portfolio.