Coca-Cola begins European testing of attached bottle caps with Spain trial

Coca-Cola begins European testing of attached bottle caps with Spain trial

We share the European Commission’s goal to reach 90% collection of plastic beverage bottles across the EU. At Coca-Cola, we are working towards a ‘World Without Waste’ – and one of our stated goals is to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030.


We are determined to help solve the packaging waste problem, by eliminating the littering of all our packaging. That includes bottles - and their caps.  




Coca-Cola in Europe is committed to meeting the legal requirements of the specific EU legislation on closures of plastic beverage containers. We are also determined to do all we can as a business to drive the necessary change in consumer behaviour to help ensure that more caps are returned and recycled with the plastic bottles across our beverages. 


Starting in May 2021, Coca-Cola in Europe, along with Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), will begin an eleven-week trial in Spain to introduce and test tethered – or attached - caps on plastic bottles on select soft drink brands. Conversion of production lines will begin in May, followed by eleven weeks of production, with bottles featuring the new cap reaching the market in the summer.


The move marks the start of Coca-Cola’s testing and implementation across Europe of the provisions regarding closures of plastic beverage containers under the new EU directive on Single-use plastics (EU Directive). It is the first market trial by Coca-Cola in Europe of the new feature. Further testing will follow, and depending on results, we foresee the start of the first market conversions later this year.  During testing, we will be seeking consumer feedback on the roll-out communications to apply learnings to future implementation.


While the industry didn’t support the introduction of tethered closures as the most impactful investment towards eliminating packaging waste, it does fully share and support the commitment to achieving the target collection rates. With the legislation now in place and a deadline of 2024 set, Coca-Cola is moving steadfastly to implement attached bottle caps as one solution to boosting the collection and recycling of plastic bottle caps to help eliminate packaging litter. We are also supporting the introduction of well-designed deposit return schemes across Europe, where effective alternatives don’t already exist, to help deliver our joint ambitions for a World Without Waste.


Starting in 2021, Coca-Cola will take a phased approach to transitioning production lines and introducing plastic bottles with tethered closures across Europe, working with our European bottlers, including CCEP and Coca-Cola HBC. CCEP and Coca-Cola HBC will begin trials and testing initial roll-outs in 2021, followed by further conversions, to be ready across Europe in time for the 2024 deadline.


While the mechanical requirements of the cap will ultimately need to adhere to the specifications to be defined by EU legislation, Coca-Cola is using the opportunity to test and learn ahead of the formal standard.  


We’ll also use our brands and consumer channels to drive awareness of the change and encourage people to embrace the new recycling requirement. The transition to the new hinged cap will be supported with a clear on-cap communication to consumers and by in-store and online marketing materials carrying the message “New cap, please Recycle Me,” designed to support the objective of the EU Directive in minimising litter.   


This is not a simple transition, but we’re committed to doing all we can, applying the latest technologies and the strengths of our research and suppliers, to meet the provisions of the EU Directive, through a balance of scale, speed and innovation.


We’ve worked closely with suppliers and partners - and invested a great deal of effort in innovation and research. We’ve used the latest technologies and applied a very specific set of parameters to come up with a closure that will adhere to the specifications being defined by the EU for the cap, and that gives consumers a positive drinking experience. The new design also meets the strict standards that we set for ourselves on quality and tamper evidence requirements.


The cap design was based on extensive consumer testing and feedback, and is a consumer-preferred option in terms of design, comfort and convenience.


Coca-Cola communicates regularly with suppliers of deposit return schemes (DRS) equipment in order to ensure that the bottles are correctly accepted by the equipment based on the presence of an attached cap. Looking ahead, we will continue to support DRS and other well-designed extended producer responsibility schemes as effective strategies to achieve the collection ambitions we share with the EU. We’ll work committedly to drive innovation and progress in each of these areas, in partnership with the EU, national public authorities and other stakeholders towards achieving a true circular economy for packaging.