Coca-Cola says it supports a “well designed” deposit return scheme in the UK, despite earlier reports that the beverage giant was actively lobbying against the plans to increase bottle recycling in Europe.
As Environmental Leader reported earlier this week, UK lawmakers are considering a deposit and refund scheme (DRS) where shoppers are charged a small deposit at point of sale, and they receive the money back when they return their plastic bottles for recycling.
Leaked internal documents showed Coca-Cola planned to “fight back” against deposit return systems and coke executives held meetings with ministers in Westminster and Scotland to stress their opposition, the Daily Mail reported.
The beverage company yesterday today told Packaging News that while it is still reviewing its sustainable packaging policy, it is inclined to support a DRS in the UK.
“Our sustainable packaging review is ongoing, but it’s already clear from our conversations with experts that the time is right to trial new interventions such as a well-designed deposit return scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland where conversations are underway,” a Coca-Cola spokesperson told Packaging News.
“We’ve also been talking to and listening to our consumers and know two thirds (63%) of them support the introduction of a deposit return system in the UK, and half (51%) say they’d be more likely to recycle as a result. From our experience elsewhere in Europe, we know that deposit schemes can work if they are developed as part of an overall strategy on the circular economy, in collaboration with all industry stakeholders. We are open to exploring any well-thought-through initiative that has the potential to increase recycling and reduce litter.”
Coca-Cola also said it plans to publish the results of its sustainable packaging review, along with a new sustainable packaging strategy, in the summer.
A deposit return system page on the company’s public website says “Coca-Cola Company supports the collection and recycling of post-consumer packaging” but adds “we believe deposit systems are only one potential solution to increase collection and recycling, and they may not work in every societal and economic context.”