Coca Cola Changes it's Mind
Coca Cola changing its mind on deposit return schemes for bottles and cans?
Drinks giant Coca-Cola has done a U-turn on its opposition to the introduction of a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles following a Greenpeace investigation. The company, along with others in the packaging industry, had stated they would fight against proposals to introduce a scheme, mainly due to the costs of implantation and logistics.
Growing support for a deposit return scheme
Coca Cola state that they are continuing to look into sustainable packaging, but that they acknowledge that the consensus among experts and consumers is that there is support for a bottle and can deposit return scheme. Such a scheme would most likely begin in Scotland, then other parts of the UK would follow suit if it was successful.
Surveys have found that 63% of consumers would support a deposit return scheme, and 51% said it would make them recycle more.
Coca Cola and sustainable packaging
Coca Cola have made attempts to make their packaging more sustainable in recent years. All bottles and cans they produce are 100% recyclable, they have made packaging and lighter, and they are aiming to make 40% of their plastic bottles from recycled plastic by 2020.
Why is a deposit return scheme needed?
Environmental campaigners in Scotland have put the case forward to the government for the introduction of a deposit return scheme. They argue that it would increase recycling rates, reduce littering, help to tackle climate change, cut local authority waste disposal costs, and create jobs in the recycling sector.
What do Greenpeace say?
Greenpeace have welcomed the possibility that Coca Cola will change their position on a deposit return scheme, as they believe such schemes can play a big role in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill and in the oceans. But Greenpeace believes that large companies can do more still, as 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea each year.
Scotland’s deposit return scheme ambition
Scotland is looking at other successful deposit return schemes around the world, such as those in Germany, Norway, and Sweden, and how they have improved recycling rates and reduced litter. Research has also suggested that the introduction of a scheme would save local authorities £13 million per year in waste disposal and litter clean-up costs. The possibility of the introduction of a scheme is gathering pace in the Scottish Parliament, and it comes at a time when there are concerns about the growing litter problem in Scotland, and the cuts to local authority waste management budgets. The proposed scheme would involve consumers paying a 10p deposit when buying drinks in cans and plastic or glass bottles, then being refunded the money when they return the empties to the shop. In countries where a scheme has already been adopted, recycling rates are around 95%, whereas in Scotland, the rate is somewhere around 50%.