Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 25

sustainable packaging
Bowing to the inevitable, Coca-Cola started a phased approach
to transitioning production lines and introducing plastic bottles
with tethered closures across Europe in 2021.
A long-standing
attachment
Initially greeted with dismay by the
world's major beverage companies, the
tethered cap legislation proposed in
2018 and adopted in 2019 by the EU as
part of the Single-Use Plastics Directive
(SUPD) will come into force this year,
making attached caps of one kind or
another a fact of life for consumers
throughout the EU from July 2024.
W
hen the plan
to make tethered
caps a
ma n da t o r y
requirement was first floated,
various multinationals, including
Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestlé and
PepsiCo, vigorously opposed the
idea. Such a requirement, they
pointed out, might seem minor,
but it would involve vast amounts
of time, effort and investment.
New designs, new moulds, often,
too, new machines would be
needed, none of which would be
achievable within the envisioned
time frame.
According to these household-name
companies,
it
would be far preferable to focus
on improving existing recycling
systems rather than
investing in new tethered cap
designs. Their position was
bolstered by a study conducted
by PricewaterhouseCoopers
for the European soft drinks
industry (UNESDA) and European
Federation of Bottled Waters
(EFBW) that outlined the
significant environmental and
economic cost of implementing
the European Commission's
proposed mandatory tethered
caps on beverage containers
(article 6 of SUP directive).
To no avail, however. The
EU's Single-Use Plastics Directive
- aimed at, among others,
reducing unintended environmental
waste and facilitating
the recycling of caps and closures
along with their containers
- was adopted with record
speed, including the stipulation
that plastic caps must remain
attached after opening on all
single-use plastic beverage
containers of up to 3 litres from
July 2024 onwards. Metal and
glass containers are exempt
from this obligation. The measure
is expected to prevent 10%
of plastic litter found on European
beaches.
The legislation, intended to
be transposed into national law
by 3 July 2021, has not been a
completely smooth one, with
various member states lagging
behind in different application
areas. However, the tethered
caps and lids requirement is
one that has unleashed a wave
of innovative closure designs.
As the directive states,
" plastic closures and lids used
for beverage containers are
among the single-use plastic
items most frequently found
as litter on the beaches of the
European Union. Therefore, the
placing on the market of single-use
plastic beverage containers
should only be allowed
if they comply with certain
product design requirements
to significantly reduce inputs
of plastic container closures
and lids into the environment. "
To that end, a standardisation
request was issued by the
European Commission to the
standardisation body CEN to
develop a standard on how
to manage this change in design
- which the request was
subsequently adopted by the
member states. The standard
continued on page 26
January/February 2024
25
Coca-Cola

Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover4
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