Beverage giant Coca-Cola is doubling the amount of recycled plastic it uses across its Australian beverage arm, with seven in 10 drink bottles to be made from 100 per cent recycled materials by the end of 2019.
All small packages 600ml and under, including brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta, will be made entirely from recycled plastic, reducing the amount of new plastic resin the company uses by an estimated 16,000 tonnes each year from 2020.
It is the latest step Coca-Cola Amatil and Coca Cola in Australia have taken to reduce the company's packaging footprint, with the phase out of single-use plastic straws already underway, and the majority of Mount Franklin products already in 100 per cent recycled plastic.
The company's beverages managing director, Peter West, said Tuesday's commitment meant an early arrival at the 70 per cent recycled plastic packaging goal, as outlined under the federal government's 2025 National Packaging Target.
Other signatories to the agreement include Aldi, Australia Post, Coles, Lion, Metcash, Visy and Woolworths.
"What we're getting from our customers and consumers is about the need to step up and show some leadership on this issue," Mr West said.
The 750ml Pump brand water bottle will also be made from recycled plastic, with tests underway for a solution to Coca-Cola's larger branded bottles.
Mr West said Australians' opinions on plastic waste had evolved rapidly and the region was seen as a proving ground for the parent company's recycling initiatives.
"There has already been a big difference from the time of (supermarkets') plastic bag ban last year," Mr West said.
"You went shopping in June and you were shocked that you had to bring your own bag and now it's just routine... people have an expectation that companies will address single-use plastic".
Data disclosed by Coca-Cola to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment shows it was the survey's biggest producer of plastic packaging waste in 2017, using three million tonnes worldwide.
That's almost double the next on the list, Nestle.