Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced its proposal to replace plastic shrink wrap of can multipacks with 100% recyclable cardboard across Western Europe.

Coca-Cola expects the initiative to reduce 4,000t of single-use plastic annually across the region.

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The move complements the company’s commitment to tackle packaging waste and eliminate all unnecessary single-use plastic from its secondary packaging.

CCEP noted that plastic shrink-wrapping helps to keep individual products together during transportation and when sold to customers as multipacks.

However, the plastic is more difficult to recycle and ends up in the landfill or as packaging waste since many markets do not have appropriate collection schemes in place for its recycling.

CCEP sustainability vice-president Joe Franses said: “We know that consumers are seeking more sustainable alternatives for packaging.

“We are committed to removing all unnecessary single-use plastic from our products and by moving our can multipacks to cardboard we are helping people to enjoy our products, knowing that the packaging won’t end up as waste or litter in rivers and oceans.”

According to Coca-Cola, the cardboard is sustainably sourced and features either Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification.

The company has implemented a research and development programme to identify the suitable cardboard packaging format for each multipack size.

In June, Coca-Cola announced that its Honest, GLACÉAU Smartwater and Chaudfontaine brands will be sold in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET). The move is expected to eliminate 9,000t virgin plastic every year across the Western Europe.