Coca-Cola Ireland has started producing 500ml and smaller bottles using 50% recycled plastic.

The move was planned in cooperation with its local bottling partner Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC).

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The change to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) is expected to reduce approximately 2,000t of virgin plastic every year.

Coca-Cola Ireland country manager Petre Sandru said: “We are proud to be making the move to 50% recycled plastic for our on-the-go packs as we look to increase the use of recycled plastics.

“We recognise that with our market-leading brands we have a responsibility to help reduce our plastic use and to make it easier for our consumers to recycle.

“We are on a journey to achieve this. Efforts are ongoing to increase the use of recycled plastic in our packs and we will continue to work with government and local authorities to identify further ways we can help consumers to recycle.”

According to Coca-Cola, its Irish division annually produces millions of plastic bottles across its Coke range, along with its Fanta and Sprite brands.

In June, Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) started to produce carbonated soft drink bottles using 100% recycled plastic.

Coca-Cola is producing its other larger bottle formats using 25% recycled plastic.

Earlier this month, the company’s water brand Dasani announced updates to its packaging line-up, which aims to reduce plastic waste and promote the use of recycled and renewable materials in the US.