Packaging and recycling

Packaging plays a vital role in delivering our beverages safely to customers and consumers. Once the beverage inside has been consumed, however, the package can become either valuable material for recycling or recovery in heat capture incineration plants – or waste, ending up in landfill.

We are working to reduce the environmental impacts of our packaging at every stage of its lifecycle. Our integrated approach includes:

Ultimately, we aim to close the recycling loop: turning used packaging into new containers. The bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Austria that Coca-Cola Hellenic helped set up, for example, now provides the Company with a high-quality and cost-effective supply of recycled material to make into new bottles.

In addition to minimizing waste from our beverage packaging, we are also reducing production waste from our bottling plants.

Reducing packaging

Minimizing the amount of packaging we use is one of the most significant ways that we can reduce its environmental impact. In addition to using less material, this helps to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging throughout its lifecycle: from manufacture to transportation to disposal or recycling.

  • Our Danube PET bottle is lighter than CSD bottles. It weighs only 24g for 0,5L. We use this bottle for our Bonaqua waters. 
  • The Ultra-Glass bottle, which uses a third less glass, is now used in Estonia for Coke products since 2003 and 16 other countries in which Coca-Cola Hellenic operates.

Increasing recycled content

Our beverage containers consist mostly of recyclable materials: PET plastic, aluminum, steel and glass. Since these are among the most widely recycled packaging materials, another way we can reduce the impact of our packaging is to increase the recycled content in them. By using recycled aluminum in cans, for example, we save up to 95% of the energy required when using virgin aluminum.

Our aluminium cans and glass bottles already contain up to 60% recycled content. Including recycled PET plastic in our bottles presents a challenge in terms of availability and cost. Although PET is widely recycled, it is cheaper and easier to channel it into carpet and clothing industries, which need not meet the high quality standards required of food containers.

Our business uses up to 15% recycled PET in seven countries. In Estonia we are tackling the challenges involved in using recycled PET.

Promoting recycling

We help set up recycling infrastructure and encourage consumers to recycle their beverage packaging.

We took the lead in establishing a packaging system to collect, recover and recycle beverage containers on behalf of our industry. This was done in collaboration with the Estonian Packaging Association.

To date, the Company has helped set up systems in 19 countries, co-owning 17 recycling and recovery organizations.

Back to top