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Coca-Cola ‘talks the talk’, but does it really follow up on rPET vision?

Global – More than 110 billion single-use plastic bottles were produced by Coca-Cola last year, a surge of roughly 1 billion compared to 2015. Greenpeace is calling on the drinks manufacturer to disclose its latest recycling figures, urging that ‘less than half’ of all bottles were collected for recycling last year, while only 7% were turned into new bottles.

An estimated 3400 ‘throwaway’ bottles are produced by Coca-cola every second, according to Louise Edge, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace.

Total production of such bottles was up 2% last year compared to 2015. Most of them end up in landfills, the environmental group laments.

At the same time, Coca-Cola has announced it intends to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020. Currently, around 25% recycled PET is used in its bottles.

The major drinks brand has also acted as a recycling advocate over the years, calling on industry stakeholders to share know-how in a bid to raise collection and recycling targets. The company made further headlines when it unveiled the PlantBottle – said to be the world’s first drinks bottle made 100% from natural materials.

Despite this, Greenpeace isn’t so sure that the leading brand is really focussing on recycling and resource efficiency. ‘Coca-Cola talks the talk on sustainability but the astonishing rate at which it is pumping out single-use plastic bottles is still growing,’ Edge observes.

Greenpeace has launched a new petition to persuade it to phase out single-use plastic bottles and invest in new alternatives.

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