The Coca-Cola Company is massive. In fact, it’s the most popular beverage company in the world. And that’s exactly why Coke bottles are some of the most littered items found on beaches, along with their caps.
One way the company is trying to combat this is by tethering the cap to the bottle. It is being introduced exclusively in the UK but could be introduced worldwide in the future. Assuming it is successful.
If the goal wasn’t obvious, this change in bottle design will make it harder for the cap to become litter. It will also make it easier for clean-up crews as the cap will still be attached to the bottle, versus being its own form of trash on the ground.
Overall, it is a positive change that has more benefits than meets the eye but also makes you question why they don’t go further.
This Means More Caps Will Be Recycled
So, you might be curious about what other benefits this can have other than lowering the littering rate.
Well, if you are familiar with bottle bills in the US, you’ll know that a plastic bottle doesn’t actually need to have its cap to be recycled. This means bottle collectors don’t actually care to pick up the cap. It doesn’t affect them.
That means that less material is actually being recycled. And while the cap is a very small component of the bottle, there are literally billions of them.
When it comes to a business operation of this size, a small change like this can have a huge impact on recycling efforts.
Assuming that it applies this change on a worldwide scale.
Coke Can Make Bigger Improvements to Its Bottles
There’s no denying that this change could have some serious benefits to recycling efforts and ultimately lower the amount of plastic that ends up as litter.
However, is it Enough?
We are literally talking about the largest beverage manufacturer in the world. If they wanted to make a huge environmental change, why not increase the amount of recycled materials being used in their bottles?
This would have a much bigger impact than most people realize. You see, when a company this large switches to 100% recycled materials, this raises demand for recycled materials. And if demand is higher, that means more recycling will happen.
Now to be fair, the company is beginning to do this very thing and is committed to doing more.
But Why is it Taking So Long?
Well, there are going to be two key reasons at this time. First is the logistical challenge it presents. There is simply not enough recycled plastic to do this. Again, there are billions of coca-cola products produced every year.
Secondly, the initial cost of such a change would have an impact on the price. While recycling materials is cheaper than making them from scratch, that’s only true if you already have the infrastructure to handle the transition.
It’s a massive undertaking that this company, and every company, needs to face in the future.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.