Coca-Cola Enterprises has agreed to add the widely used On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) to its bottles for the first time.

The UK’s largest soft drinks maker will initially add the label to 500ml plastic bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, before extending its use across other lines.

By adopting the label, Coke falls into line with arch rival PepsiCo, soft drinks suppliers AG Barr and Vimto, as well as fmcg giant Nestlé and all the major supermarkets.

Launched by the British Retail Consortium in 2009, the scheme has almost 150 members. But Coke had previously ruled out taking part in the scheme.

“We have had a recycling logo on our packs for many years but the inclusion of OPRL information makes it easier for consumers to recycle their bottles through kerbside collection schemes,” said CCE recycling director Patrick McGuirk.

“Our message is simple – recycle your bottle at home and it can be back on the shelf within six weeks.”

He added: “We are serious about setting the industry standard for sustainable packaging and are committed to transforming recycling in this country.

“That’s why we invested in a £15m facility called Continuum Recycling to more than double the UK’s capacity for PET bottle reprocessing. We aim to incorporate at least 25% recycled material in our plastic bottles by the end of this year.”

WRAP’s Marcus Gover added: “We’re still throwing away one in two bottles, so WRAP welcomes initiatives like this that encourage people to recycle more. This is a very positive step.”