Coca-Cola Germany starts converting beverage caps for all non-refillable PET bottles

- Implementation of an EU requirement that caps must remain on the bottle
- New cap type saves up to 1.37 grams of plastic per bottle
- Conversion period of two and a half years

Coca-Cola Germany starts converting beverage caps for all non-refillable PET bottles
© Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH
23.11.2021
Source:  Company news

From the beginning of November 2021, Coca-Cola in Germany will begin the gradual changeover to new closures on all non-refillable PET bottles. In doing so, Coca-Cola is implementing an EU requirement that plastic beverage caps on non-refillable bottles must remain on the bottle after opening by July 3, 2024. Coca-Cola is using the changeover as an opportunity to optimize the overall use of materials in the bottles. Coca-Cola in Germany can thus save a total of up to 1.37 grams of plastic per bottle with the new caps.

Conversion period of two and a half years
Coca-Cola is starting the changeover to the new closures early to ensure implementation of the EU requirement in Germany by July 2024. The starting point will be the bottling plant in Dorsten, North Rhine-Westphalia, in November 2021, followed by the non-refillable PET lines at the sites in Mannheim, Mönchengladbach, Hildesheim and Knetzgau in 2022. By January 2024, all German plants with single-use PET lines will successively convert their production to bottles with the new closures. To ensure a smooth process, this will take place in no more than five plants per year.
Due to the long-term changeover phase, for a time both non-refillable PET bottles with the previous type of closure and with the new closures can be found on the market. In order to draw consumers' attention to the new closures, the caps are marked with the inscription "Let me have a go!
The previous opening mechanism will not change. In the future, however, the new caps will remain connected to part of the safety ring on the neck of the bottle. For convenient consumption, the cap can be easily opened and closed again and moved back and forth. It can also be fixed in one position to allow convenient pouring.

Return to the recycling loop
As before, the non-refillable PET bottles with the new caps, including the cap, can be handed in via reverse vending machines throughout Germany. Thanks to the deposit system, the valuable material can thus be collected and recycled. In Germany, over 90 percent of bottle caps are already collected in this way. "As the world's largest beverage producer, Coca-Cola is aware of its responsibility and uses its levers for sustainable change. We have taken the EU regulation as an opportunity to optimize our closures overall and develop a new, material-saving solution. We are continuously working on our packaging and looking for new ways to save material and make it even more environmentally friendly in line with our sustainability goals," says Tilmann Rothammer, Managing Director Customer Service & Supply Chain, Coca-Cola European Partners Germany. As part of its overall sustainability strategy, Coca-Cola in Germany is already saving around 57,000 tons of CO2 in 2021.