CCEP attached caps - landscape (1)

The World Meteorological Organisation said recently there was a 50-50 chance global warming could temporarily rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2025 – the maximum threshold set by the Paris Climate Agreement. It is yet another wake-up call on climate change, which must continue to be a priority despite the challenging macro environment businesses and consumers are facing.

COP26 saw the government challenge more businesses to lay out more comprehensive measures to cut carbon emissions, and ultimately accelerate their journey towards net zero emissions. Many food and drink producers and retailers recognise the role they need to play and are taking action. At CCEP, we have set out our own ambition to reach net zero across our supply chain by 2040, and this remains a key focus.

Consumers are also demanding we do more, and rightly so. The pandemic, combined with the powerful legacy of last year’s climate conference, have crystalised their commitment to greener living. More than two-thirds say they have stopped buying products due to a perceived negative impact on the planet and switched to a comparable product with a positive impact [Kantar, Who Cares, Who Does?]. They are looking to manufacturers and retailers to make it easier for them to live more sustainably.

At CCEP, we know packaging is the biggest contributor to our own carbon footprint. The production of virgin materials is energy-intensive, so we are pressing ahead with efforts to increase the amount of recycled content we use. This requires us to find innovative ways to make it easier for consumers to recycle our packaging, and to work with our industry partners to ensure as much good quality material as possible is recovered so it can be reused.

We continue to support the introduction of effective deposit return schemes (DRS) across the UK, and in Scotland are working with the scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland, to support the introduction of the scheme from August 2023. DRS will undoubtedly cause major disruption to suppliers and retailers alike, but if properly implemented will deliver significant positive outcomes for the environment. It is crucial that industry and government continue to work together to ensure that effective and interoperable systems are introduced across the UK without unnecessary delay.

As producers, we must also assess the incremental steps we can take to ensure as much of our packaging is recovered and recycled. Alongside The Coca-Cola Company, we have announced this month that we are launching new bottles with attached caps. We are the first major soft drinks company to announce the switch across our entire portfolio in Great Britain. Manufacturing has already started at our factory in East Kilbride, Scotland, and we will fully transition across all of our plastic bottles produced in GB by early 2024. While the change may appear small, it will make a significant difference in reducing litter and ensuring the entire bottle is recycled, with no cap left behind, and also reduce carbon.

We’re constantly working with industry partners on further innovations in sustainable packaging, exploring new avenues like paper bottles and refillables. We have more innovation in the pipeline that we hope to bring to market later this year, as we continue to make small but significant steps along the path to a greener future.