Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Enterprises & ECO Plastics Recycle 15 Million Plastic Bottles—and Returns Them to the Shelves within Six Weeks

Recycling truck

For the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Coca-Cola made recycling an Olympic event. As part of its Sustainable Games commitments, Coca‑Cola aimed to turn every soft drink bottle recycled at London 2012 venues into new bottles, and put them back on shelves within six weeks, which is fewer than the number of weeks between the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and the end of the Paralympic Games. Earning a “gold” in recycling, the longest continuous Olympic supporter recycled 15 million plastic bottles and met its goal to return those bottles to shelves within six weeks.

To make this possible, bottling partner Coca‑Cola Enterprises opened the Continuum Recycling plant in Lincolnshire, which is located in east England, in May 2012. The £15 million joint venture with ECO Plastics is the largest PET plastic recycling facility in Western Europe, and is estimated to more than double the United Kingdom's production of recycled PET plastic suitable for food and drinks packaging.

In addition to the goal to recycle every soft drink bottle collected at London 2012, all Coca-Cola packaged products were served in 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles, which contained up to 25 percent recycled content, and Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero drinks were served in PlantBottle™ packaging, containing up to 22.5 percent plant-based material. Coca-Cola also placed 260 recycling bins in locations around the center of London.

Coca-Cola’s efforts at London 2012 will help advance the Company’s 2020 packaging goal to reach a 75% recovery rate of bottles and cans in developed markets.