Coca-Cola European Partners’ Gary Black explains why you should take part in community clean-up initiatives

Q: Why is it important for retailers to raise awareness of recycling and take part in community clean-ups?

Thousands of retailers are central to the communities they serve and can play a huge role in raising the awareness of recycling. While disposing of waste responsibly and recycling has become a part of everyday life, a huge 30 million tonnes of litter is still collected from the streets each year and with only 48% of local authorities providing on-the-go recycling facilities, it’s up to local businesses, consumers and communities to help make a difference.

At Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), we have a bold ambition to recover 100% of our packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter, which includes ensuring more plastic can be collected and reused in our products. We know this can only happen by working together with our customers, shoppers and communities. We are using the power of our brands to encourage consumers to recycle. You may have seen our ‘Please recycle me’ caps across our 500ml bottles of the Coca-Cola range, and noticed that our TV adverts now include a recycling message. We also support clean-up schemes such as the Great British Spring Clean run by Keep Britain Tidy, an organisation we first supported 54 years ago. This year, we want to take this one step further and encourage our trade customers to join us.

Many retailers are hubs of their communities and have a unique relationship with their customers. The Great British Spring Clean, which launches on 22 March, presents a real opportunity for retailers to engage with members of their communities, many of whom will be shoppers in their stores, to host a clean-up and make a real difference to their local area. CCEP colleagues will be doing the same up and down the country.

To support the efforts of retailers who are interested in taking part, we’ve created the free downloadable ‘Guide to Hosting a Community Clean-Up’ on the sustainability section of our trade website,, as well as an editable promotional poster that retailers can put up in stores.