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Coca-Cola Switzerland changes to 100 percent rPET

At the beginning of May, Coca-Cola Switzerland will introduce 100 percent recycled PET (rPET) on all bottles produced in Switzerland. To close the material cycles and prevent downcycling, the company has made substantial investments. The switch to 100 percent rPET is being made as part of Coca-Cola’s global vision of “A world without waste”, under which the company has set itself the goal of collecting one bottle for every one sold. Two new packaging formats will also be introduced at the same time as 100 percent rPET: the 0.5- and 0.9-litre bottles.

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With the introduction of bottles made from 100 percent recycled material, Coca-Cola Switzerland is taking a big step towards a circular economy. The switch will save around 3,300 metric tonnes of new PET per year in the country and have an extremely positive effect on the eco-balance of Switzerland’s largest beverage producer. Compared to virgin PET, the production of bottles from recycled material requires only half as much energy.

When it comes to recycling PET, the Swiss are among the absolute world leaders. Over 82 percent of used PET bottles end up at the collection point. The introduction of 100 percent rPET is a partnership between the manufacturer and the consumer. “Hand in hand, we are doing our part to protect the environment”, says Vincent Rameau, General Manager Coca-Cola Switzerland.

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The vision: a world without waste

The switch involves substantial investments and major technical challenges. In order to close the material cycle and prevent downcycling, lengthy, elaborate analyses and tests had to be carried out. Subsequently, the processing of the preforms and the pressing consistency had to be adapted. Rameau: “Together with our bottling partner, we are focusing on the entire life cycle of packaging – from design and manufacturing, through to recycling and reusing. Accordingly, we are investing heavily in the development of new technologies.” This is entirely in line with Coca-Cola’s vision of “A world without waste” presented in 2018. In it, the company stipulates that by 2030 it will collect and recycle the corresponding amount for every bottle or can sold worldwide. In Europe, this target is to be reached as early as 2025. According to Rameau, they are well on their way to doing so.

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New bottle sizes

The 100 percent rPET bottles will be introduced from May 2022 for all products manufactured in Switzerland, on brands such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite and Mezzo Mix. At the same time, the beverage manufacturer is also making changes to packaging sizes. A 0.5- and 0.9-litre PET bottle will also be introduced at the beginning of May.

Find out more about our commitment to a world without waste here.