Coca-Cola has just announced its New Year’s resolution—it’s going to try to alleviate some of its environmental impact. The soft drink giant says it is planning to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030, which seems like a nod to the fact that it would be nearly impossible to collect and recycle every single plastic bottle it sends out into the world. Instead, the company is planning to collect an equivalent amount of the waste that it sends into the world, including collecting packaging from other companies, which is kind of like flying all over the world and then buying carbon offsets but, hey, we’ll take it.
The news comes in the wake of Evian announcing plans to makes its bottles out of 100% recycled plastic and McDonald’s pledging to bring recycling to all its restaurants.
Coca-Cola also plans to unveil packaging that is at least 50% recycled material by 2030, which dovetails with a previously announced plan to make all of its consumer packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. While Coca-Cola does use paper, glass, and aluminum in its products, it’s focusing its current efforts on reducing its plastic footstep. The world uses some 500 billion plastic bottles every year, so every chance to recycle plastic and remove the chance that it will end up in the ocean is a good one.
Greenpeace, though, isn’t buying it: “A litter free world is possible – but only if big companies like Coke stop producing ever growing quantities of plastic litter,” said Tisha Brown, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace UK, in a statement. Greenpeace estimates that Coke has increased its number of single-use plastic bottles by nearly a third (31%) since 2008 and that they now account for almost 70% of Coke’s packaging globally.