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Coca-Cola Says Its Customers Still Need Plastic Bottles

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Beverages giant Coca Cola said it has no plans to abandon single-use plastic bottles as its consumers still want to use them.

Bea Perez, Coca-Cola's senior vice president for sustainability, told the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos that consumers like the single-use plastic bottles as they reseal and are lightweight.

"Business won't be in business if we don't accommodate consumers. So as we change our bottling infrastructure, move into recycling and innovate, we also have to show the consumer what the opportunities are. They will change with us," Perez was quoted by BBC as saying.

Perez added that as desired by some environmental campaigners, her company could not abandon plastic outright because it could alienate customers and hit sales. Using only aluminium and glass packaging could push up Coca-Cola's carbon footprint, she added.

Coca-Cola is is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste. It produces about three million tonnes of plastic packaging a year, or 200,000 bottles a minute, the BBC reported.

In January 2018, Coca-Cola had announced a global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging by 2030. It also aims to make bottles with an average of 50 percent recycled content by 2030.

The company said it is building better bottles, including through more recycled content, by developing plant-based resins, and by reducing the amount of plastic in each container.

At the World Economic Forum, Coca-Cola and Chinese online retailer JD.com announced a partnership to explore new ways of plastic recycling.

In December 2019, JD.com and Coca-Cola China co-piloted a two-week recycling program in Shanghai, by leveraging JD's courier team to collect used bottles from 50,000 households when they delivered packages to consumers.

The collected bottles are being sent to recycling facilities in partnership with Coca-Cola.

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