Honest, Glacéau Smartwater and Chaudfontaine switch to 100% rPET bottles

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Removing 9,000 tonnes of virgin plastic is the equivalent of 20 million footballs, says CCEP. Pic:getty/irinavodneva
Removing 9,000 tonnes of virgin plastic is the equivalent of 20 million footballs, says CCEP. Pic:getty/irinavodneva

Related tags: rPET

Coca-Cola brands Honest Tea, Glacéau Smartwater and Chaudfontaine mineral water will all be sold in 100% rPET bottles in Europe by 2020, replacing 9,000 tonnes of virgin plastic.

Coca-Cola has pledged that at least 50% of plastic​ used in its bottles across its portfolio will come from recycled sources by 2025. Its current average is 27.6% rPET (recycled PET).  

Meanwhile, Sprite will change from a green PET bottle to a clear PET pack, which is easier to recycle.

Growing brands sustainably

While Honest and Glacéau Smartwater have a large following in the US, they are relatively young brands in Europe.

“We have ambitious growth plans for both of these brands, as we continue to broaden our portfolio to offer people different drinks to meet changing tastes and lifestyles – and we want to grow them sustainably,”​ said Bruno van Gompel, technical and supply chain director for Coca-Cola Western Europe.

Chaudfontaine is a natural mineral water sourced in Belgium.

The new packaging will be used across Coca-Cola European Partner’s markets of Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.  

Coca-Cola European Partners says it has been investing in enhanced recycling technologies to improve the availability of food-grade recycled PET for use in its bottles. This technology allows PET to be created from low-value plastic waste that previously couldn’t be recycled into bottles.

“These new technologies expand the types of plastic waste streams that can be recycled back into bottles, allowing a broader range of collected materials to become part of the circular economy,” ​said van Gompel.

“It also enables us to use collection streams that were normally going to incineration or landfill.  Investments in scale-up technologies such as these help us accelerate our use of recycled plastic in our bottles."

Coca-Cola entered into a new partnership with Loop Industries, a plastic reprocessing company, last year. This partnership has has been using Loop's depolymerisation technology to convert low value plastics into virgin-quality PET plastic. 

In Great Britain GLACÉAU Smartwater is the third largest on-the-go bottled water brand, and the packaging change will remove 3,100 tonnes of virgin plastic from circulation every year. “This means smartwater will use more recycled plastic in its packaging than any bottled water brand in Great Britain,”​ says Coca-Cola.

As well as shifting to clear PET, Sprite will move to 50% rPET next year.

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