VIETNAM – Coca-Cola Vietnam has introduced fully recycled plastic bottles in the country as part of its efforts to help drive a circular economy.

The bottles are made entirely from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), except for their caps and labels.

They are claimed to meet both Vietnamese regulations and The Coca-Cola Company’s global standards for food-grade rPET packaging.

With the launch, the firm intends to reduce 2,000 tonnes of new plastic in Vietnam every year.

The Coca-Cola Company will use the rPET packaging on its Coca-Cola Original and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar lines, including 300ml bottles, starting this month.

Coca-Cola Vietnam and Cambodia General Manager Leonardo Garcia said: “We want to ensure that all our bottles have more than one life, in support of a circular economy in Vietnam.

“To achieve this, it is critical we have enough supply of food-grade recycled plastic to meet demand.

“This is why Coca-Cola Vietnam, together with our bottling partner, are also investing in the collection and recycling of PET plastic bottles.”

Garcia added: “While we still have a lot of work to do to help reduce plastic waste in Vietnam, by educating consumers about recycling and the potential for plastic bottles to become new plastic bottles, we see this as a big move in the right direction.”

Last year, the firm started displaying the words “Recycle Me” on all of its packaging to raise awareness about recycling and inspire action.

Vietnamese Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment director-general Phan Tuan Hung said: “Coca-Cola Vietnam is one of the pioneering companies that is working to build a circular economy for packaging.

“This is an ambitious goal and it shows the company’s readiness to deploy extended producer responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging.”

To offer the bottles the best chance of finding another use, SPRITE also switched from its recognizable green bottles to transparent packaging in Vietnam.

Since 2018, Coca-Cola Vietnam has collaborated with organizations like the Green Hub and regional recyclers to help and provide incentives to the unofficial plastic trash collectors who constitute the backbone of the Vietnamese recycling sector.

By 2030, the Coca-Cola Company aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can it sell as part of its global World Without Waste initiative.

In addition, the company also aims to use at least 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2030.

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