Coca-Cola calls for councils to standardise recycling

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Recycling

Coca-Cola calls for councils to standardise recycling

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has called on the coalition to improve the UK’s poor recycling infrastructure by making local authority processes consistent.

Speaking at a conference last month on the future of the food industry in London, vice president and general manager for CCE GB, Simon Baldry, criticised the UK's poor levels of recycling for food and drink packaging compared with those on the Continent.

"This whole recycling area is one where we, working with government, can be innovative about how we address an issue that we face in this country today,"​ said Baldry. "Recycling levels in Great Britain are not as good as they are in neighbouring European countries. Part of that is because we have very confusing and different ways of recycling across all of the 438 local councils in this country."

Baldry called for government to "standardise the collection process of recycling​" in five core materials: glass, metal, plastics, paper and card, and food waste.

"If they create a standard collection process, the local authorities operating that standard local process get some return back to the recycling industry. We, as manufacturers, can work with that recycling industry to get that back into new packaging."

In exchange, he said, firms such as CCE would be prepared to do more to get the "behavioural change" m​essage about recycling to its consumers, as well as working upstream with the recycling industry to help build the type of facilities needed to ensure the right quality of recycled material is available.

As part of its 2020 sustainability commitments, CCE is looking to reduce, reuse and recycle more of its packaging. In particular, it aims to get more recyclate back into its polyethylene terephthalate bottles.

"The ambition is to increase the recyclate level [in each bottle] up to 25% by 2012,"​ said Baldry.

In 2008 CCE launched Recycle Zone: the UK's first on-the-go recycling scheme, in partnership with the Waste & Resources Action Programme. The firm has a three-year plan to create 80 zones in busy locations around the country by 2011. To date, 52 Recycle Zones have been established, which have collected over 65,000kg of recyclate.

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