A Look Inside

Last week, the fifth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was held in Washington, D.C. This annual high-level meeting provides a forum for leaders from the two countries to discuss a wide range of political, strategic, security and economic issues.  Many of the agreements reached this year were related to the environment, including one involving Coca-Cola’s innovative PlantBottle™ program. China and the U.S. agreed to expand their prestigious EcoPartnership program by signing six new cooperative partnerships focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and creating jobs. One of the partnerships selected was Coca-Cola’s collaboration with the Yangtze River Delta Research Institute of Circular Economy to advance technologies that use local agricultural wastes to make ingredients for polyester plastic, including the company’s breakthrough PlantBottle packaging.  The aim of Coca-Cola’s EcoPartnership in China is to turn the potential of agricultural waste into a reality for polyester production. China today is the largest global supplier of polyester for fibers and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin primarily used in beverage containers. Global demand for polyester is predicted to continue growing at an average of 7% per year, up from 5% over the past decade. China’s domestic growth and constraints on local cotton production – arising from a lack of arable land availability and competition from food crops – are helping drive this increase in polyester demand. In the face of a bullish outlook on polyester growth, the material remains dependent on increasingly volatile fossil-based resources such as oil and natural gas. To reduce this risk, and help lower the material’s carbon footprint, Coca-Cola has been advancing our PlantBottle packaging platform. This breakthrough technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to the fossil-based ones traditionally used in polyester
As part of our new 2020 environmental goals announced on July 9th, this is the 4th and final piece of our series on Coca-Cola Unbottled where our experts are sharing even more details on the goals.Ask anyone in the world to draw a bottle of Coca-Cola and the image is usually the same – a tall, slim glass or plastic bottle with a distinctly unique contour shape. It’s a shape that’s recognizable by touch even in the dark and one that often sparks personal memories of special occasions of sharing happiness. Since the invention of the first contour bottle in 1915, Coca-Cola has been on a mission to have both distinctive and innovative packaging –while also thinking about what happens to each package when the person enjoying the drink finishes that last sip.  Packaging plays an essential role in meeting consumer needs and preventing waste by protecting our products during delivery, so naturally, it’s an important part of our 2020 sustainability goals. We have a long history in the environmental sustainability space. As the first company to do an environmental assessment of  packaging in the late 1960s to launching the first plastic beverage bottle made with recyclable materials, we have continually explored new ways to package our products while reducing waste, materials and energy. Just as important is our need to focus on reutilizing resources, which is why we design our packaging for recycling and reuse.  We’ve set a 2020 Company goal in packaging to: reach a 75% recovery rate of bottles and cans in developed markets. By having this goal in place, it will allow us to more accurately track and report progress on the total number of bottles and cans captured for recycling and reuse. However, we can’t do it alone. We will continue to work with local communities, industry and nonprofits to increase recycling in markets around the world. What about developing and emerging markets? We’re working to set a global target, but today, much of the basic
Supporting Litter Collection & Education Programs
While we have a robust sustainable packaging strategy, we face litter issues in the communities we serve. All too often our packages are found along roadsides, beaches or in waterways. We recognize the importance of working with community organizations to help make it easier to properly dispose of our packages and to educate the public to change behaviors that cause litter on land and in bodies of water. Our system supports numerous litter prevention and community beautification organizations that provide leadership in this area such as "Keep America Beautiful" in the United States. In addition to local partners, we have identified global partners, including Ocean Conservancy and its International Coastal Cleanup – the Company’s premier litter abatement partnership. The Cleanup is an initiative of Ocean Conservancy , which launched the first Cleanup in the United States in 1986.  Since the beginning of the Cleanup, which is now in its 28th year, nearly 10 million volunteers across 153 countries and locations around the world have collected, removed, and tracked  163 million pounds of litter and debris from shorelines. The data collected is used to study the global waterway debris problem, educate the public to change behaviors, and to forge solutions with industry and policymakers to help prevent marine debris at its source. In 2011, The Coca-Cola Foundation presented a $1.5 million grant to Ocean Conservancy to support the Trash Free Seas initiative. This initiative aims rid the ocean of harmful trash and prevent debris from reaching the water through global cleanup efforts, education, community engagement, research, industry collaborations and thought leadership. This year's Cleanup will begin on September 21. Visit Ocean Conservancy’s website to learn more. The Business of Recycling Read about "Recyclemania," a 10-week competition designed to increase campus recycling. Make your plastic fantastic! Learn how we create value
recycling bins
At the most basic level, recycling helps with waste management, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. But recycling also creates opportunities for valuable materials that are tossed in the trash every day to be made into new items. At Keep America Beautiful (KAB), we believe it is important to educate individuals about the good things that can happen when they recycle. It’s also important to increase the opportunities and reduce the barriers for recycling by making it easier and more convenient for people to recycle. That’s why we partner with businesses, such as Coca-Cola, and other organizations, to help multiply our efforts to increase our nation’s recycling rates. Coca-Cola has been a partner of Keep America Beautiful since our beginnings, going all the way back to 1953.  We’re excited to join forces with them again this spring to offer the seventh annual installment of the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program. This program supports local community recycling across America by providing recycling bins to selected grant recipients for the collection of cans and bottles in public settings and on college campuses. Recycling with one of the Coca-Cola Recyling Bins. The 2013 application period opens on January 28, 2013 through March 4, 2013. Eligible grant recipients – which include government agencies, colleges and universities, civic organizations, K-12 schools and nonprofit groups – are encouraged to apply. Since 2006, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program has placed more than 29,000 recycling bins in over 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The program now includes college- and university-focused grants as well as traditional public space recycling bin grants. KAB supports a variety of other recycling programs to encourage people to take action. RecycleMania – a fun and friendly competition among colleges to see which school can collect and recycle the most material – makes recycling interesting and
Packaging recovery


Learn about our packaging recovery programs.

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Packaging recycling


Learn more about our packaging recycling programs.

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Packaging Infographic
Introducing Plantbottle video