ZB

'This is soda-pressing': Kiwis rage against new Coke bottles

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 1:35pm
(Photo / Coca-Cola UK)
(Photo / Coca-Cola UK)

'This is soda-pressing': Kiwis rage against new Coke bottles

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 1:35pm

When it comes to soft drinks everyone has an opinion on their favourite. 

But everyone is going fizzy over Coca-Cola's latest design change to its bottle and it's causing widespread frustration. 

Coca-Cola has unveiled new bottles with caps that don't come off in a bid to take control of worrying recycling issues. 

The British arm of the global beverage company announced it has started rolling out new versions of its iconic plastic bottles in an attempt to keep the lids out of landfills. 

While caps are typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) – both of which are in high demand for recycling – many consumers still remove the lid when recycling. 

The new "attached cap" design is supposed to make it easier to recycle the whole package at once while also preventing the common recycling mistake. 

The new bottle will have lids that remain attached. Photo / Coca-Cola UK 

Plastic bottles of Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite and Dr Pepper will all feature the new lids by early 2024, the company said. 

But the news hasn't gone down well with Kiwis and environmentalists. 

While Coca-Cola claims it'll help recycling, many have said it could cause more issues. 

"We are told specifically to NOT put any lids or bottle caps in recycling here in Canterbury," one person said. 

Another responded in contrast, writing: "In Auckland we're told to leave the lids on when recycling." 

A third said: "So in one city it's ok to leave it on, but in another we'll have to rip it off and put it in the bin, meaning it won't be recycled anyway?" 

While debate raged over whether it made any environmental difference, some saw the lighter side. 

"Omg this is .. soda-pressing," one joked. 

Another quipped: "Just put the cocaine back in it already and the world will be a better place." 

A placard made out of a Coke box is seen among plastic bottles and tin cans during a demonstration. Photo / AP 

Expecting backlash, Coca Cola defended the change saying it would stop caps causing harm to the environment. 

"This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind," said Jon Woods, general manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, in a statement. 

But their answer didn't cut it for some, 

"They'll brag about this being innovative design. I wonder how many research dollars went into this. But it's still f***ing plastic, yo. Ridiculous. 

"This is a teeny tiny effort to protect our planet. Plastic is killing our home. There is no planet B. How about spending some of ur vast profits to develop a better container for ur products?" another vented. 

The move comes after the European Union made it mandatory for caps and lids to be attached to all beverage containers as part of its directive on single-use plastics. Many companies have until the end of 2024 to comply, USA Today reported. 

Globally, plastic waste is a huge issue and it was only made worse by the Covid pandemic as healthcare systems relied on single-use items during the vaccine rollout. 

For companies like Coca-Cola, branded bottles and caps ending up on beaches or in landfills can be extremely damaging to the brand — not to mention incredibly harmful to health. 

Plastics break down into microplastics that make their way into the air and ocean, harming marine life as well as ending up in our food and lungs.