Islington London low plastic zone

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé have hit back at recent claims they are the world’s top plastic polluters for the third year in a row.


Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) vice president of public affairs, communications and sustainability Julian Hunt told betterRetailing: “Globally, we have a commitment to get every bottle back by 2030, so that none of it ends up as litter. Bottles with 100% recycled plastic are now available in 18 markets around the world.

“We recognise that, as a leading supplier and a globally-recognised brand, we must set an example. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in finding the most sustainable ways for more people to enjoy our soft drinks, and looking at how we can make our packaging as sustainable as possible.

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“There is a real opportunity for local retailers to leverage their position as community hubs and play a role in the national effort to recover more sustainably. Retailers can use the unique relationships they have with their shoppers to drive positive behavioural change – and it is lots of small steps at a local level that, when combined, can make a huge difference nationally.”

Hunt urged retailers to use point-of-sale materials through to help contribute to the wider national effort.

“Retailers should also look to engage directly with shoppers and discuss the importance of recycling with them,” he said.

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“As well as POS materials, in-store displays and communication on social media channels can help retailers to engage consumers on the issue and emphasise the contribution they’re making to the green future of their communities.

“As well as reducing outgoings, operating sustainably can actually increase a store’s appeal and encourage shoppers to spend more as people look to make greener shopping choices following the pandemic.


A PepsiCo spokesperson added: “PepsiCo firmly believes that packaging has no place in the environment and we’re taking action through partnership, innovation and investments to spur systemic change toward our vision of a world where plastic need never become waste.

“While setting ambitious plastic reduction goals, including decreasing virgin plastic in our beverage business by 35% by 2025, PepsiCo is also committed to growing refill and reuse through businesses like SodaStream and SodaStream Professional, which we expect will avoid 67 billion single-use plastic bottles through 2025.

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“And, we are investing in partnerships to increase recycling infrastructure and collection, pledging more than $65 million since 2018. We have a multi-faceted approach to drive both immediate and long term progress – reducing the plastic we use, increasing recycling rates and building an economy for recycled material and reinventing our packaging to go Beyond the Bottle without single-use plastic.


A Nestlé spokesperson explained: “No one wants to see plastic packaging waste end up in nature. This is why we, at Nestlé, want to be part of the solution.

“Our aim is to ensure that by 2025 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or reusable and to reduce our use of virgin plastics by one-third. We have a huge amount of work to do but we can’t do it alone. We want to continue to work with our peers to build new partnerships, drive new innovations and to work with the government to create a level playing field.

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“We’ve already made some progress to find solutions, we’ve recently joined forces with Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK on a cross-industry coffee pod recycling scheme that will launch early this year.

“We have also started a collaboration with waste management business, Biffa, who will help create the recycled plastic for our Buxton water bottles. We will continue to work across our business to find solutions for this shared problem.”

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