PET-bottles made of 100% recycled plastic

Amsterdam, 29 January 2018 – In recent years, it has been possible to make PET bottles from 100% recycled plastic which are qualitatively just as good as bottles made from so-called virgin plastic. At present, firms which sell water and soft drinks in PET bottles are falling over each other to claim one after the other:

  • that their bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic,
  • or will be within a few years,
  • or that their bottles can be 100% recycled.

In their communication, all these companies point out that plastic litter is a huge environmental problem and say they are taking responsibility. Last week in Davos, eleven multinationals even went as far as to declare that all their packaging will be fully recyclable by 2025.

In September last year, Bar le Duc (United Soft Drinks) was the first water brand in the Netherlands to opt for bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. Earlier this month, Evian (Danone) announced that all its mineral water bottles will be made from recycled plastic by 2025. Coca-Cola aims to make 50% of its bottles worldwide from recycled plastic by 2030. Last year, PepsiCola announced that 100% of its packing can be recycled.

Recycling, however, is not the true solution to combat plastic soup, as a recycled plastic bottle can just as easily end up in the environment as a plastic bottle made from virgin plastic. Without exception, the efforts of the big bottled drink companies focus on educating their customers to dispose of packaging responsibly. For example, Bar-le-Duc does so using this videoclip.
The proof of just how ineffective these campaigns have been can been seen in the magnitude of the problem of plastic soup.

In short, a lot more needs to be done to ensure PET bottles do not end up in the sea. In its recently published Plastic Strategy, the European Commission shows that 95% of bottles are returned when deposit systems are in place. But you never hear the drink companies on this, nor do they talk about the introduction of plastic bottles which can be refilled many times after being returned.