Coca-Cola says 25 percent of packaging will be reusable by 2030

Bottles of Coca-Cola Co. soft drinks are displayed for sale at a store in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Coca-Cola rose after reporting better-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter, citing rising demand overseas and higher demand for its low-sugar offerings in the U.S. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Bottles of Coca-Cola Co. soft drinks on display. /VCG

Coca-Cola, under pressure from environmentalists over its packaging policies, has pledged to use reusable containers for at least 25 percent of its beverages by 2030.

The soda giant announced the pledge Thursday, saying it would be implemented globally through the glass and plastic bottles it sells to consumers and through the containers used at soda fountains and dispensers.

Refillable containers accounted for about 16 percent of total volumes in 2020, Coca-Cola said.

“Reusable packaging is among the most effective ways to reduce waste, use fewer resources and lower our carbon footprint in support of a circular economy,” said Ben Jordan, senior director of packaging and climate at Coca-Cola.

But the coalition #Breakfreefromplastics, which has rated the company the world’s top plastic polluter because of its historic use of single-use plastic containers, offered only measured praise.

“Coke’s announcement that they are expanding their reusable packaging target globally is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Emma Priestland, global corporate campaigns coordinator for the group.

In January, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other international brands called for a global pact that included calls to cut plastic production.