Coca-Cola Bottles in U.K. to Get Attached Caps

The new design allows for the plastic bottle and cap to be recycled together.

May 18, 2022

Coca Cola's new Packaging with Attached Caps

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Coca-Cola Great Britain is introducing attached caps to its plastic bottles, making it easier to recycle the entire package and ensure no cap gets left behind, according to a news release.

Production of bottles with attached caps began yesterday at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ site in East Kilbride, Scotland, meaning that consumers in Scotland and the North of England will start to see new caps attached to 1.5-liter bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke. The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.

“This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind,” said Stephen Moorhouse, general manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain. “As the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola, we recognize that we have a leading role to play in pushing innovation and design to produce more high-quality recycled plastic which can be converted into new bottles.”

All of Coca-Cola’s bottles, including the caps, have been 100% recyclable for many years, but not all are being recycled, said Coca-Cola. The new design allows the cap to stay connected to the bottle after opening, so the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together, reducing the potential for it to be littered. 

Working in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), Coca-Cola is the first major soft drinks company to announce the switch across its entire range in Great Britain. Coca-Cola has announced major initiatives both globally and locally to help create a “circular economy” for plastic. Last year, CCEP announced that it had reached its target of using 100% recycled plastic (excluding caps and labels) in all its 500ml or smaller bottles sold in Great Britain ahead of schedule, helping to save around 29,000 tons of plastic per year.

The move also follows CCEP’s transition to Shrink to Board packs at the business’ Sidcup manufacturing site last year, alongside reducing the weight of its aluminum cans, which are now 22% lighter than two years ago.

CCEP is starting the changeover to attached caps initially from its bottling plant in East Kilbride, followed later this year by its site in Edmonton, North London, and the rest of its sites in Great Britain over the next 18 months.

Rising inflation is a barrier to adopting more sustainable shopping practices for British and German consumers, according to research by qualtiplope. The research found that only 1 in 5 shoppers in the U.K. and 1 in 4 in Germany are making product choices that prioritize sustainable packaging. German shoppers are more likely to prioritize buying products with local ingredients; 39% compared to 19% in the U.K.

Despite these low numbers, British and German consumers strongly agree that protecting the environment is one of the most important issues of our times and, as a result, want to shop more sustainably. Half of consumers in each market check for sustainable ingredients on packaging and pay attention to the displays/information shown on shelves, according to the data.

Convenience retailers are turning to sustainable packaging to keep food and drinks fresh and warm. Learn more in the NACS Magazine article “Package Deal,” published in the January 2022 issue.

More than half of all convenience store customers (54%) say they’d like to see more recycling at their local c-store, according to NACS data. NACS offers a toolkit in partnership with the Can Manufacturers Institute on the value of can and bottle recycling, which offers tips and suggestions for improving current practices, how to effectively communicate the goals of the program with staff and customers, as well as a checklist to help retailers reduce contamination in their recycling bins.

Register to attend the 2022 NACS Convenience Summit Europe, which takes place May 31 through June 2 in Berlin. Over the three-day summit, attendees will be immersed in the city’s retail landscape through expert-guided store tours—the Ideas 2 Go tours.