Coca Cola marks one year since the launch of Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) and Coca-Cola GB’s (CCGB) Sustainable Packaging Strategy by highlighting some of the latest activity against their sustainability commitments.
The CCGB said one of the key challenges and opportunities for the industry for the near future is helping to create an effective deposit return scheme (DRS) for the UK. With that, it has set out CCEP’s vision for a “well-designed DRS”.
A DRS would see the public pay a deposit when they buy a drink in a single-use container – which they can then get back when the container is returned empty.
Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP, said: “We believe we’re at a crucial moment in time, with a once in a generation opportunity to create real change for packaging recovery systems in GB.
“We have been clear on our support for a well-designed DRS in Great Britain for some time – however with a DRS consultation now open in Scotland and one planned for England later this year, it is crucial that all parties come together to develop this collaboratively.”
A summit took place in London earlier in July (5 July) between the four UK nations to discuss plans for a UK-wide DRS for drinks containers.
The summit brought the four nations together to coordinate work at a UK level and set principles for the design of potential schemes across the UK. The Ministers agreed to work together on a scheme’s design and operation.
According to a Green Alliance report published last year (August 2017), a deposit return scheme for beverage containers would stop a third of the plastic going into the oceans.
However, in its written evidence to parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee for its inquiry into the effects on the environment of disposable drinks packaging, INCPEN – the Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment – said while packaging is the subject of much media attention, it is not the sole cause of marine or land litter; and that all drinks containers are less than 15% of litter by any measure.
The Scottish Grocers Federation and Association of Convenience Stores also argued that introducing a DRS for plastic drinks bottles would be “too burdensome” for customers and small shops.