Case study

Coca-Cola saves 30 tonnes of raw material in multipacks


Coca-Cola removes handles on multipacks

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is taking an important step in packaging design by removing the handles on all multi-packs for their bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET)* and Minute Maid's Tetra Pak packaging. This initiative is in line with our Design4Recycling recommendations that will reduce the use of raw materials on the Belgian market by 30 tonnes and make the outer packaging recyclable.

A small change with a big impact

By removing the handles from multipacks, the Coca-Cola drinks brand aims to make it easier to totally recycle the outer plastic packaging. This packaging used to be collected, sorted and then finally treated as residual waste because the handle contained multiple materials (plastic and paper-cardboard). The improvement not only contributes to the circular economy but also reduces the use of raw materials on the Belgian market by about 30 tonnes, thereby keeping the effect on the environment to a minimum.

At Fost Plus, our goal is to provide recycling solutions for every type of packaging on the Belgian market. We can achieve this goal by carrying out a critical assessment and making adjustments to the packaging design, for example by removing non-recyclable handles. This joint effort with our members promotes the adoption of recyclable packaging, bringing us closer to a more sustainable packaging scenario.

Even without the handles, consumers will still be able to pick up multipacks easily using the side opening. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners' commitment to reduce CO₂ emissions by 30% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2040 is another important aspect of their sustainability strategy. Packaging alone accounts for 37,5% of their carbon footprint. Hence the vital importance of optimising it as much as possible.

A long-term vision

Removing the handles from multipacks not only supports the circular economy and improves recyclability, but it is also in line with the Fost Plus vision to create a loop in the chain of materials and substances. By revisiting and then modifying its packaging design, Coca-Cola is demonstrating the importance of questioning existing systems in order to find innovative solutions that combine ease of use and sustainability. We congratulate Coca-Cola Europacific Partners for having taken this step and we encourage other companies to follow their example.

By adopting the Design4Recycling principles, we can promote a culture of responsible packaging design and exert a positive impact on our planet and our communities. Moreover, Fost Plus would like to point out again that all non-recyclable packaging must be dispensed with by the end of 2025. To this end, we offer advice, our expertise and practical support, in particular with the help of tests on new packaging in the sorting centres.

*100% recycled plastic on TCCC products, with the exception of the cap and label, and Aquarius 1.5 l, Tropico 1.5 l, Minute Maid 33 cl and Coca Cola and Coca Cola Zero 1.25 l.