Coca-Cola ramps up reusable packaging rollout

Coca-Cola has announced the launch of a new, universal 250ml returnable glass bottle for cafes, hotels and restaurants in France. The move could prevent more than 15 million single-use glass bottles from being produced this year.

The new bottles, for drinks including Fanta and Sprite, join the 330ml options already available for Coca-Cola. They can be refilled up to 25 times, the company said.

Reuse was a hot topic at this week’s Packaging Innovations show in Birmingham, where Wayne Barron from Rethink Packaging explained how reusing a bottle 20 times results in 95% less packaging waste.

Barron was among those calling for standardised reusable packaging, which could reduce costs, allow systems to be shared and improve customer convenience. It could also dramatically reduce resource use. “We need to use fewer resources,” said Sophie Lees-Mallais, senior consultant at Anthesis, a consultancy.

New regulations are forcing brands to redesign packaging but many of the programmes are still linked to linear systems. Lees-Mallais suggested the surge in production costs presented an opportunity to look at materials and formats in order to cut waste. 

She presented details of a ‘concept project’ she has been working on with design experts at 1HQ involving kegs of craft beer being delivered to households.  

German brewers this week warned of a possible shortage of beer bottles this summer amid rising production costs and a lack of lorry drivers. 

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