Coca-Cola announced long-term recycling goals Friday, including attempting to recycle a bottle or can for every beverage it sells by 2030.
The soda maker and other consumer products companies have been under pressure from customers and environmental advocates to stop using plastic packaging.
Coca-Cola Co. said it would work with local governments and environmental groups to meet the recycling goals. It plans to recycle bottles and cans from other companies, too.
“The world has a packaging problem — and, like all companies, we have a responsibility to help solve it,” CEO James Quincey said in a statement Friday.
Greenpeace, which has criticized Coca-Cola before, said the company should focus on reducing the amount of plastic it produces, rather than just recycling more.
Unlike other materials, plastics never break down in the environment and end up in tiny forms that are eaten by animals and end up in food, environmental groups say. A report issued last summer showed that global industry has produced 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950, and enough is still in circulation to bury Manhattan under more than two miles of trash.
Quincey defended Coca-Cola’s recycling goals, saying on a call with reporters that recycling and reusing plastics for bottles will reduce waste. The Atlanta-based company is also looking to reduce the amount of plastic it uses in bottles.
Quincey wouldn’t say how much the company plans to spend on the recycling goals, but said the initiative would pay for itself in the long run if the company uses more recycled materials for its packaging.