At the end of this month, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands will offer their products in a new type of bottle. Currently PET bottles are used, and then recycled to be used again by various bottling plants. The new bottle is meant for one-time use only. The bottles will have a deposit on them; after being returned to grocery stores the bottles will be recycled. Material from the recycled bottles will be used to make new PET bottles or other plastic products.
Until the beginning of this year, the Netherlands had a law requiring soft-drink bottles to be used multiple times. The soft drink sections of grocery stores are filled with scuffed and beat up bottles; the fact that they were used multiple times was no secret.
Coca-Cola has been using the same PET bottles in the Netherlands for the last 15 years. With the new packaging, Coca-Cola hopes to improve their share of the soft drink market in Holland. The change also allows for Coca-Cola to offer different packing options beyond the currently standard 1.5 and 2 liter bottles. Drinks will be offered in 1 liter bottles. 1.5 liter bottles will also be offered in handy four-bottle portable units.
According to environmental concerns, including Greenpeace and The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment, the one-time use bottles produce up to 2.5 times more garbage, and cost 70% more in energy to produce, and have a 50% more adverse effect on greenhouse gases than the current bottling methods.
Man, I love my Coke Light. But this might make it hard to swallow. Stay tuned…