Soda Environmental Policy Question 5

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Question

Does the brand use recycled or renewable plastics in its newly produced plastic bottles?

  • Dutch version: Gebruikt het merk (bedrijf) gerecyclede of hernieuwbare plastics in zijn nieuw geproduceerde plastic flessen?
  • German version: Verarbeitet der Markenhersteller recyceltes oder erneuerbares Plastik für neu produzierte Plastikflaschen?

References and Guidelines

Carbonated beverages are mainly offered in plastic bottles (amongst others in supermarkets or vending machines). A general 0,5 liter plastic soda bottle contains 19,5 grams of PET 19.5 grams, 0,3 grams of HDPE 0,3 gram for the closure and 0,3 grams of PP; 0,3 grams for the label. In the Netherlands, these bottles can be traded in for recycling purposes. The PET bottles are then recycled. Part of the recycled plastics can be re-used for new plastic bottles. Although it isn't obligatory, the branch organization has signed a commitment with the Dutch government that in 2009, 32% of all the plastics needed to be re-used, in 2010 28% and in 2012 42% of all the plastics needed to be re-used. This can be considered a best practice, as Europe only says that 20% of the plastics need to be recycled.

Many soda brands do use recycled plastics for their newly produced plastic bottles, but do not specify this in concrete numbers yet. While we need this transparency to compare brands. Therefore we ask the following questions to evaluate the percentages of recycled plastics that brands use for their newly produced bottles.

Please note that some soda producers might be using so called ‘plant bottles’ or bio-plastics, i.e. bottles which are made from organic materials. The bio-plastics have to be derived from sustainable sources. It is a possibility that the bio-plastic is made from sugar-cane. The production of sugar-cane comes with a lot of sustainability issues, see also Soda Environmental Policy Question 1. Therefore, if the producers claims they are only using plastic bottles made from bio-plastics, please make sure that the source of the bio-plastic is mentioned and when this source has known sustainability issues, the source should be certified according to the certification schemes mentioned in Soda Environmental Policy Question 1.

Some producers use reusable/recyclable bottles that are re-collected after use through return systems that make use of packaging deposits. In this case we also give a point, if there is a clear indication of what percentage of total bottles are re-collected AND that this percentage is highly significant, say 75% or more. In case you find brands reporting on this indicator, please contact verifier at rankabrand dot com.

Answering Guidelines

Answer Yes:
[Brand] uses XX% recycled plastic in its newly produced plastic bottles.
[Brand] only uses bio-plastics which come from sustainable sources for its plastic bottles.
[Brand] uses re-collection systems for its bottles for over [%] of total soda sold.

Answer No:
[Brand] uses XX% recycled plastics in its newly produced plastic bottles. This is less than the required 10% and not sufficient for a yes.

Answer ?:
[Brand] does not mention anything about the recycling rate of their newly produced plastic bottles. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.