The “Give it Back racks”, freestanding units made of corrugated cardboard, are designed for use in grocery and convenience stores.
Coca-Cola says the racks are a first step toward a comprehensive, closed-loop retail equipment program, in which the company will recover displays and reuse or recycle them. The corrugate displays will later be joined by a rack made entirely of recycled PET plastic.
In related news this week, Coca-Cola subsidiary Odwalla announced that it has finished transitioning all its bottles to 100 percent plant-based models, fulfilling a promise made in October. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles are fully recyclable, the company says.
Coke also says that its Dasani water is now being sold in 30 percent plant-based PlantBottles nationwide. Coca-Cola introduced the PlantBottle, a fully recyclable drinks container made from up to 30 percent plant-based materials, in 2009.
Rival PepsiCo says it has developed the world’s first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle made entirely from plants, and will pilot this starting in 2012.
“It’s our goal to make traditional plastic bottles a thing of the past and ensure that every beverage we produce is available in 100 percent plant-based, fully recyclable packaging,” Scott Vitters, Coca-Cola’s general manager of the PlantBottle packaging platform, said.
The cardboard displays will be the first closed-loop merchandise display rack recovery program in the U.S. consumer packaged goods industry, the company says.
Coca-Cola says the racks will also communicate the company’s sustainability principles to shoppers. The company says it diverts an average of more than 90 percent of its waste from its primary U.S. manufacturing facilities.
“The corrugate rack’s design communicates sustainability to the consumer by using an alluring overall form not found in most other displays,” the company says. “Material finishes emphasize the recyclability of the racks.”
Coke will initially test the displays in select markets, and expects to make the racks widely available towards the end of this year.
“Coca-Cola recovered 400 million pounds of cans and bottles in the U.S. in 2010, yet we want to do more,” Gary Wygant, vice president of business development at Coca-Cola Recycling, said. “By creating a 100 percent recyclable merchandise display rack, Coca-Cola is asking grocery and convenience stores to join our sustainability efforts by returning or recycling our racks, just like we ask consumers to return or recycle our product packaging.”