US-based beverage brand The Coca-Cola Company has introduced fully recycled plastic bottles in Vietnam as part of its efforts to help drive a circular economy.

The bottles are made entirely from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), with the exception of their caps and labels.

They are claimed to meet both Vietnamese regulations and The Coca-Cola Company’s global standards for food-grade rPET packaging.

The design is expected to prevent the use of around 2,000t of new plastic a year in the country.

The Coca-Cola Company will use the rPET packaging on its Coca-Cola Original and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar lines, including 300ml bottles, from this month.

Coca-Cola Vietnam and Cambodia general manager Leonardo Garcia said: “We want to ensure that all our bottles have more than one life, in support of a circular economy in Vietnam.

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“To achieve this, it is critical we have enough supply of food-grade recycled plastic to meet demand.

“This is why Coca-Cola Vietnam, together with our bottling partner, we are also investing in the collection and recycling of PET plastic bottles.”

“While we still have a lot of work to do to help reduce plastic waste in Vietnam, by educating consumers about recycling and the potential for plastic bottles to become new plastic bottles, we see this as a big move in the right direction.”

The Coca-Cola Company is now offering sustainable bottles in more than 30 markets worldwide.

The brand has pledged to use at least 50% recycled content in its packaging and make 25% of all its beverage packaging across its brand portfolio reusable by 2030.

Vietnamese Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment director-general Phan Tuan Hung said: “Coca-Cola Vietnam is one of the pioneering companies that is working to build a circular economy for packaging.

“This is an ambitious goal and it shows the company’s readiness to deploy extended producer responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging.”