Coca-Cola has done all kinds of gimmicky things with the labels on its bottles over the years. This new one’s actually telling you a little something about the bottle it is wrapped around.
The greenish background and multicolored flecks are there to let you know that this particular Coke bottle was made from marine plastic. Specifically, plastic that was polluting the Mediterranean Sea or found washed up on its many beautiful beaches—84 of them, according to Waste360.
They’re recycled using technology pioneered by Netherlands-based Ioniqa Technologies that “break[s] down the components of plastic and strips out impurities in lower-grade recyclables,” Waste360 noted. In the past, these lower-grade materials would’ve been destined for the incinerator or buried in a landfill.
Coca-Cola enlisted the help of two other partners for this project: Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and chemical company Indorama Ventures. So far, they’ve teamed up to produce an initial run of 300 bottles. Each one contains 25 percent marine plastic.
Ioniqa Technologies CEO Tonnis Hooghoudt says the company’s specialized recycling tech is ready to handle production at scale. By next year, there’s a good chance you’ll be sipping your favorite Coke products from one of these bottles.
This new bottling initiative is just one way Coca-Cola is pushing to become more sustainable. Chances are good you’ve already had one of their first crack at sustainable packaging, the PlantBottle, which is made with sugarcane-based plastic.
These days, sustainability is just good business. The folks at Coke are well aware of that fact and have been for some time. Two years ago, the company became part of the New Plastics Economy (NPE), a global effort to eliminate barriers to plastic recycling. Coca-Cola’s NPE goals include making all its consumer packaging 100 percent recyclable by 2025 and having 50 percent recycled content in its packaging by 2030.
Getting their will take coordinated efforts like the one that made Coca-Cola’s marine plastic bottle possible.
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