Packaging plays an essential role in our business by meeting consumer needs for convenience and portability, as well as protecting and preserving our products throughout the supply chain.
We envision a world in which our packaging is seen as a valuable resource for future use. Our packaging vision is zero waste—which means we are working to support initiatives that enable recovery and reuse of our packaging.
Turning Plants into Bottles
Throughout North America, you can now find Dasani® in PlantBottle® packaging—the first ever fully recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle made with up to 30 percent plant-based materials. We also launched Odwalla® in fully recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) PlantBottle packaging made from up to 100 percent plant-based materials.
But we didn’t stop there. Through a partnership with the H.J. Heinz Company, more than 100 million Heinz Ketchup bottles made using PlantBottle® packaging were introduced in grocery stores and restaurants across the United States in 2011. The partnership is an industry first, and one that we hope others will follow to transform how food is packaged around the world.
More Than One Way to Recycle
We created an entire organization dedicated to the recovery and recycling of our products—Coca-Cola Recycling LLC. We work with venues and at events across North America to help develop away-from-home recycling programs. Working with NASCAR at racetracks across the United States, we helped divert more than 11.5 million beverage containers from landfills and into recycling streams during the 2010 and 2011 race seasons. Our Recycling Education Vehicles travel across North America, visiting events in more than 250 cities each year to educate people about the benefits of recycling.
Through our Give It Back® messaging, we encourage people to recycle by asking them to give back the packaging our products come in so those cans and bottles can be recycled into new cans, bottles, T-shirts and more. To further inspire people to recycle, we are focused on recycling education and providing increased access to recycling bins, making recycling easier and more convenient. Since 2007, the Coca-Cola system has been responsible for placing almost 150,000 recycling bins throughout North America.
The Coca-Cola Bin Grant Program, now in partnership with Keep America Beautiful, has helped place more than 21,000 recycling bins in 380 communities. We also help sponsor Recyclebank®, a program that motivates people to recycle by rewarding them for their efforts.
Recycle and Win
We are collaborating with communities and our bottling partner Coca-Cola Consolidated to make recycling a rewarding experience—literally. Through partnerships with local governments and retailers, we help provide educational material to teach people how to recycle the right way. Then, when a prize patrol vehicle spots people recycling properly, they receive gift cards. The program has resulted in increased recovery and participation in curbside recycling.
Reimagine the Possibilites
We are exploring new technologies and recycling systems to help increase recovery of used beverage containers. Reimagine Beverage Containers recycling centers are part of an exciting pilot program in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. These conveniently located recycling centers provide communities with an efficient way to recycle used PET plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and even reward them for doing it. The centers are the result of collaboration with Environmental Products Corporation, which aims to advance closed-loop beverage container recovery across the world. During the first year of operation, the initial three centers processed almost 2.5 million used beverage containers.
Hitting the Target
Our associates use their expertise to imagine some of our best ideas. Our Target 100 program was started by a Coca-Cola associate and challenges our production facilities to redirect all solid waste away from landfills and into productive recycling efforts. The Target 100 rate continues to increase, and in 2011, we diverted almost 150 million pounds, nearly 94 percent, of waste from landfills.
Our production and distribution center in Wilsonville, Oregon, embraced the program wholeheartedly. The center’s recycling rate is now more than 98 percent and even earned “Recycler of the Year” honors from the Association of Oregon Recyclers.
Less is More
We are implementing projects that reduce the amount of material we use in our packaging. Recently, these lightweighting efforts have resulted in the removal of small amounts of material from select packages, making a huge reduction in the materials we put into the market while ensuring the same if not higher quality packaging.
In 2010, Coca-Cola Refreshments avoided the use of approximately 100 million pounds of materials compared to our baseline package weights in 2007 and 2008. While most of these savings came from primary packaging, such as bottles and cans, we also realized savings in secondary packaging, such as corrugated cardboard and plastic film.