Coca-Cola now plans to recycle 100 per cent of its aluminium cans sold in the US, the company announced last week.
The initiative comes after the company said it would recycle or reuse all of its US plastic packaging last September. Spokesperson John Burgess claims that the company will therefore be recycling more than 100 million pounds each of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminium by the end of 2008.
"We have made a commitment to ensure the sustainability and recyclability of our packaging," said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America. "We envision a world in which our packaging is no longer seen as waste, but as a valuable resource for future use." According to Coca-Cola, recycling aluminium requires 95 per cent less energy than creating the metal from raw materials, while also reducing carbon emissions by 95 per cent.
The plans will come under the responsibility of the Coca-Cola Recycling (CCR) company, which was formed in 2007 to co-ordinate the collection of the company's packaging waste in the US. Coca-Cola also built a new recycling plant in South Carolina, to come under the responsibility of the CCR company, to recycle the company's bottles and beverage packaging.
Like many multinational food and beverage firms, Coca-Cola has been keen to stress its green and ethical credentials. The company claims that it implements new initiatives each year. For example, changes made in 2007 included redesigning the classic Coca-Cola contour-shaped bottle to reduced the amount of glass used for each product.
Coca-Cola also said that since 1991 it has reduced the number of new aluminium cans it produces in the US by 33 per cent, the number of glass bottles by 57 per cent and plastic bottles by 32 per cent.
The company is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages, and last week reported global sales of $28.8bn for the tax year 2007, with operating profit rising 15 per cent to $7.2bn for the same period.