Coca-Cola adds tethered closures to boost PET recycling in Europe
From July 2024, plastic beverage bottles up to three litres in size will be required by EU law to have closures that remain attached to the container throughout their intended use.
Getting ahead of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is already adopting tethered caps in European markets, with closures having been applied to bottling lines in Germany, Spain, and the UK.
Tethered cap design
Berry Global Group, Inc. is the first plastic packaging manufacturer in Europe to supply Coca-Cola with a lightweight, tethered closure for its soft drinks in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
The closure design features a tamper-evident band that does not impact the closure’s ability to remain attached once broken. It is positioned out of the way for drinking and can easily be reclosed.
Berry’s closure for Coca-Cola is based on its patented CompactFlip hinge technology, the first to be used in conjunction with the new lightweight 26mm GME30.40 neck, developed by the International Technical Centre for Bottling (Cetie) Single-Use Plastics Group. The new neck finish delivers an over 1g saving in PET compared to the current PCO-1881 neck.
“Combined with a 10% weight reduction from the Berry closure, the new pack is around 20% lighter than the PCO-1881 version,” explained the packaging supplier.
Less litter, more recycling
The packaging solution is designed to cut down on waste by securing the closure to the bottle and improving recyclability. Essentially, by remaining attached, the lid is less likely to be littered, and more likely to be recycled.
“Because PET bottles are the most recycled plastic package type, this collaboration has tremendous potential to help keep resources in use and out of our environment,” explained Thierry Bernet, VP Circular Economy & Innovation at Berry Global.
This aligns with Coca-Cola’s own packaging ambitions: the beverage major wants to make 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025.
To date, 400m closures have been applied to Coca-Cola’s bottling lines. The rollout will continue to the company’s other European plants.