The introduction of “tethered” caps marks a milestone in Coca-Cola’s sustainable packaging and innovation journey, and is part of the implementation of the new European Directive on single-use plastics
The new caps will make it easier to recycle the whole beverage package and is aimed to ensure more plastic bottles are collected with their caps attached
Marking another step forward towards Coca-Cola’s vision for a World Without Waste, The Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria will introduce “tethered” – or attached – caps on plastic bottles to consumers in on its water brand Bankia.
Part of Coca-Cola’s ongoing transition across Europe to meet the provisions on closures of plastic beverage containers in the EU Directive on Single-use Plastics, this move is intended to boost the collection and recycling of plastic bottle caps – together with the bottles – to help eliminate packaging litter. The new cap design is also another milestone on Coca-Cola’s sustainable packaging journey – marked by a global commitment to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one that it sells by 2030, and to go further, faster, where it can, to eliminate packaging litter.
“Coca-Cola shares the EU’s commitment to improving packaging waste collection and recycling. Our goal is to help eliminate packaging waste and litter as we work towards finding the most sustainable ways for people to enjoy our drinks, that are right for them and right for the planet. The tethered closure design is a result of our ongoing commitment to sustainable packaging innovation and extensive collaboration with our partners. We will take the transition to tethered caps as an opportunity to promote recycling messages, supporting our drive towards 100% collection of both bottle and cap.”, says Juerg Burkhalter, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria.
Coca-Cola’s tethered closures solution is an innovative design which marks an important milestone in its ongoing innovation roadmap. The introduction of the attached cap is a fairly complex process, and one that could have great impact. The opening system is the same as the standard bottle. The innovation is applied through a ring which, by means of a simple tab, makes the cap fit perfectly. The cap stays connected to the security ring on the bottle and the tab ensures a perfect opened position.
“Our vision is for a World Without Waste - we have set a goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every Coca-Cola bottle or can we sell by 2030. As part of that, we want to ensure that more bottle caps are returned and recycled together with plastic bottles across our beverages – so they too don’t end up as litter.Our new caps will make it easier to recycle the whole package - you simply leave the cap attached, enjoy your beverage, reseal the cap, and recycle the bottle and cap together in your nearest recycling bin. This might feel new, but it’ll be the same great taste and experience you expect from our drinks, in a new cap design that’s hygienic, practical, and functional.” says Dora Strezova – Nikolova, General Manager of Coca-Cola Bulgaria.
A great deal of R&D, design collaboration with suppliers, and consumer testing has gone into developing the new cap solution. The closures are tested at Coca-Cola’s R&D packaging lab in Brussels to ensure that they not only deliver a comfortable experience for consumers and offer practical, hygiene-related, and functional benefits, but also meet the regulation’s requirements and the highest technical and safety standards. The cap design is also designed to make recycling more intuitive, by making it easier to recycle the whole package together, with the cap now attached. Extensive consumer research and testing done earlier this year across Europe helped define and develop a preferred consumer solution accompanied by clear consumer communications about the new cap.