Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Norway started with bottles of 100 percent recycled plastic for its bottled water, Bonaqua.
Now the soft drink producer announces that they will dispense all the drinks on recycled plastic from the first half of 2021.
Plastic and emission reduction
From the first half of 2021, all the bottles Coca-Cola produces in Norway will be made exclusively from recycled plastic – that is, with the exception of the cork and the label.
Coca-Cola writes in a press release that this means an annual reduction in the use of new plastic by 4,300 tonnes, which is equivalent to 75 percent, and in climate emissions from bottle production by 28 percent.
– Plastic is a climate-efficient form of packaging when it is collected and reused. We hope our transition to 100 percent recycled plastic can contribute to the goal of a Norwegian circular economy for plastic; a closed cycle where all Norwegian plastic for beverage packaging is collected and recycled, says Carl Lescroart, CEO of Coca-Cola European Partners Norway in a press release.
Good for the climate?
According to the report Plastic and climate – two sides of the same coin, which was published by the Climate Foundation in 2018, more recycling is a way to cut climate emissions.
They write that large parts of the plastic waste can be used as raw material for new plastic products. This can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. At the same time, they point out that the production of new plastic products from recycled plastic also leads to emissions both in the production processes themselves and in energy use where the energy comes from fossil sources.
“If we manage to obtain as much as possible of the plastic needed from recycled plastic and renewable raw materials, we will cut emissions from the extraction of oil and gas and contribute to plastic also becoming part of the natural cycle in the long run,” they write in the report. , at the same time as they point out that from a climate perspective it is also important that we manage to reduce the need for plastic, ie the amount of plastic.
According to Coca-Cola, the transition to recycled plastic bottles is their contribution to a world without packaging waste. They further write that Norway has the prerequisites to lead in this area.
– We have perhaps the world‘s best system for panting, which is operated by Infinitum. This well-developed deposit system and Norwegians’ strong desire to use it, together with changes such as the one we are now implementing, means that the goal of a circular economy for plastics is more achievable here than perhaps anywhere else in the world. As a major player, we have a responsibility to contribute to this development, and that is what we are doing now, says Barbara Tönz, Country Director for Coca-Cola Norway.
The new bottles will be pledged as before, according to Coca-Cola.
Equally good bottles for recycling?
Dinside has asked Coca-Cola Norway if it is possible to recycle bottles made from 100 percent recycled plastic, as many times as new bottles. According to Per Hynne, communications director, this depends, among other things, on the method for recycling.
Today’s method, called mechanical recycling, will cause the plastic in the bottles of recycled plastic through each recycling to lose some of its strength.
He further says that they are working with new recycling technology that will enable the bottles to be recycled over and over again, without the challenges that today’s mechanical recycling presents.
According to Infinitum, which operates the Norwegian deposit scheme, bottles can be used between eight and 16 times in the Norwegian deposit system.
CEO Kjell Olav Maldum tells Dinside that this variation is due to how much is pledged.
– We now have a mortgage rate that is a little over 90 percent. When we achieve a 100 percent mortgage rate, the number of reuses increases, says Maldum, and further explains that the recycled plastic is not a problem, as they have strict control of the plastic in the bottles.
What can happen with many recycles is that the bottles become grayer, but Maldum believes that consumers will accept it in view of the enormous environmental benefits.