Coca-Cola in the UK has called for a smarter producer responsibility scheme and called on the sector to agree a common strategy and priorities.
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Nick Brown, head of sustainability, Coca-Cola European Products (pictured), made his call for action as the company unveiled a new TV, cinema and digital media advertising campaign to boost PET bottle recycling.
It has also committed itself to using 50% recycled PET by 2020. An on-the-go bottle collection and reward programme is also being tested.
Brown said he was proud of Coca-Cola’s efforts to promote recycling – and sustainability in general – but it needed to be part of a coherent national strategy.
“It’s a great story to be able to close the loop. We’ve got a 10-year partnership with Plastipak and they are providing 25% of all the plastic that we use. But that is a voluntary commitment in the supply chain and it carries a financial risk, and not all companies are going to want to take that kind of risk,” he said.
Brown said voluntary actions had their place but what was needed was a new framework with “a simpler set of decisions with simpler financial guidance” so that those in the supply chain could see their role and responsibilities more clearly.
“It’s good to hear lots of people talking about reform of the producer responsibility scheme and I think there is a growing awareness in the industry that we have a window of opportunity.”
The opportunity is that targets within the existing scheme are set only until 2020.
“I call all the parties involved and all the trade associations to really get involved in the discussions about what a better producer responsibility scheme could do.
“In the case of packaging, we can definitely incentivise the use of recycled materials. But also to more clearly target the funds that are raised against clear national priorities of infrastructure, harmonisation of collections, and communications,” he added.