A bottling company based in Philadelphia is opting for a change in its packaging method by discarding the widely used plastic rings in its soda can packs. Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, the local plant responsible for bottling Coca-Cola products like Diet Coke, Powerade, Sprite, and Monster Energy, will now adopt sustainable fiber-based paper packaging, as reported by NBC Philadelphia. The harm caused by plastic rings has been a subject of worry for environmental activists and marine biologists.
Plastic rings when ending up in the ocean, can pose a threat to various marine species like birds, turtles, and mammals by getting entangled around their noses, mouths, and bodies. It is believed that plastic causes the death of around 100,000 sea creatures each year. Furthermore, plastic rings contribute to the alarming accumulation of ocean waste, with a 2021 study estimating that about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean annually, a problem exacerbated by the fact that plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose.
Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, the local plant that bottles a range of Coca-Cola products, is making a stride in sustainability by eliminating plastic usage in its packaging. With its new policy, the company aims to reduce the use of plastic by 75,000 pounds annually. The new packaging, designed by Graphic Packaging International, is a fiber-based paper alternative that is compact, lightweight, and easily recyclable.
This innovative packaging design has already been implemented in Europe for six-packs, but Liberty claims it is the first of its kind in the United States. Co-owner of Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, Paul Mulligan, expressed his excitement in being the first bottler in the US to adopt this new packaging system.
The change in packaging will be visible soon in soda cans throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, as these are the states where Liberty distributes its products. The company is joining other beverage brands, including Coors Light, Corona, and PepsiCo, in their efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability.