In a UK-first, I was privileged to go behind-the-scenes at Coca-Cola Great Britain both at the factory and the recycling plant the Company use in the UK, to experience the life-cycle of a plastic Coke bottle, learn myth-busting facts about recycling and discover more on Coca-Cola Great Britain‘s commitment to creating more sustainable packaging.

Honest Mum

Coca-Cola Great Britain has an ambitious long-term plan to see all of its packaging recovered, so that none ends up as litter. In order for that to happen, we all must become proactive and dedicated to recycling.

Granted, there’s a fair amount of ambiguity around recycling as boroughs often differ in their policies, but we must take responsibility and seek out recycling bins at every opportunity, so that plastic bottles and other recyclable materials can make their way to recycling plants such as the one I visited recently, Clean Tech, in order to be recycled into new bottles.

At Clean Tech, not one single item finds itself in a landfill. Everything is reprocessed to create new bottles and other plastic items.

plastic Coca Cola bottles

coke bottles

For those unaware, Coca-Cola Great Britain makes over 80 different drinks under 20 different brands including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Oasis and Smartwater. They are doubling the amount of recycled plastic (rPET) in all bottles, across all 20 brands to 50% by 2020, which is hugely impressive.

Currently, only 57% of plastic bottles produced are recovered and recycled and that’s in part, because they aren’t placed in recycle bins. More plastic needs to be recovered and recycled in order for Coca-Cola Great Britain to continue increasing the amount of recycled plastic in bottles across all of its brands.

Clean Tech

We need to help Coca-Cola achieve its ambition to ensure no bottles end up where they shouldn’t.

All of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s bottles and cans are 100% recyclable, including bottle tops and with our help they can reach their goal.

Honest Mum/ Coca Cola

Hanging out at the Coca-Cola Great Britain factory to experience the process of bottle creation from the recycled plastic, and then onto the Toy Story 3-style recycling plant felt like the most informative and visually-dynamic school style trip I’ve ever experienced, and even more so as the brilliantly funny and smart YouTuber Jake Boys was there too, documenting his time on his channels too.

Jake Boys

Below, is a clever infographic that demonstrates the life-cycle of a plastic Coca-Cola bottle, so you can follow the steps and share it with your children to encourage them to recycle too.

The lifecycle of a coca cola bottle


Recycling has become a way of life here and in the vlog I share tips I picked up during my journey on site, as well as expert insights and of course the factory and plant visit.

Do you recycle all your plastic? I hope this inspires you to if you don’t and encourages you to do so more often. We have a precious planet in our hands and need to do all that we can to cherish, save and help it to prosper.

This is a sponsored campaign but as always, my words and opinions are honest.

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Going Behind-The-Scenes at Coca-Cola

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25 Responses


    ooh id love to go behind the scenes! i used to work for a recycling kerb side collection company and it is so interesting to see how it all gets sorted ect and reused!

  2. Maria Jane Knight

    We dont drink Coca Cola in our house but my son would be fascinated at the recycling process as they have been learning about recycling at school.

  3. Derek Wilson

    It infuriates me that some members of my family still don’t recycle everything that they can. The benefits really need to be taught from a young age. Thanks for sharing your day. x

  4. Dawn Samples

    It’s so important to recycle and encourage people by showing where it all goes x

  5. Lela

    What an epic day! Love it. I’m such a stickler for recycling – I always carry my trash around like a crazy lady until I find somewhere to recycle things haha.

  6. Sharmin

    Awesome!! I’m so happy to read about their commitment to recycling because if any brand can make a difference it’s Coca cola. Incidentally i just visited the Singapore Zoo, which is a large-scale nature park and it was written somewhere that the biggest monster at the bottom of the sea is plastic. So this is extremely vital. X

  7. Sophie Le Brozec

    I love this! And I’m going to show it to the kids later on as we’ve been talking loads about recycling recently as we’ve just discovered we can recycle our plastic bottles here in Mauritius too 🙂

    I really hope that people take away from this the importance of recycling their plastic bottles – imagine the difference it would make if everyone did it?

    Thanks so much for sharing this Vicki – even though I’m jealous that even with a hair net and high-vis vest you still look so glam 😉

    Sophie xx

  8. Angela Milnes

    Oh wow. It sounds like a great day out. I love learning about what goes on behind the scenes and Sylvia and I often watch tv shows about how things are made. We love Sprite in our home so this was an interesting read. I love that they do so much recycling and the infographic was good to see. It’s great when companies are transparent about how they do things. Angela – The Inspiration Edit

  9. Lucy hird

    I think it’s great they are doing so much for sustainability. Is really important that businesses like this look after the environment, and lead the way!! Great piece xxx

  10. Mark Thomas (The Honest Father)

    Good on them for doing this! I love all this stuff – the whole process fascinates me.

    Plastic’s been the talk of the last couple of years too with regard to waste and the traces found in our food, it’s scary!

  11. Mel

    It’s a great commitment on the part of Coca Cola to pledge that none of their items end up in landfill. I can’t believe only 57% currently gets recycled. These days, it’s so easy to sort your rubbish, I just don’t understand why people don’t do it systematically. It must have been fascinating to be there and really experience the life-cycle of a Coke bottle (love the reference to Toy Story 3 – that’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw the photo of the crushed bottles / cans on the conveyor belts). x

  12. Joana

    Such an eye opener and happy to see Coca-Cola is taking a responsible approach to such a problematic issue. Our oceans are choking under the weight of discarded plastic and there is more than a 90% chance that any wild fish caught contains some form of plastic particle these days. This is what we are putting into our bodies and our children’s bodies, and plastic is pretty much threatening bio diversity and vital areas such as the Great Barrier Reef which sadly is beyond repair. More companies need to follow this example and do something before it’s too late. Thanks for highlighting this! ❤️

  13. Stacey

    Funnily enough, our Year 7 assembly today was all about recycling and it was scary how many kids didn’t recycle their bottles and used bottles daily as opposed to refillable ones. We were taught that a small change in what we do has a huge impact so for Coca Cola to do this, it’s incredible. After all, we want our great-great-great-great grandchildren to enjoy this planet as much as we do. Well done on raising awareness. X

  14. Natalie

    I’ve just had a Fanta and the bottle is in the recycling x great to see
    More about how this all works and every bit helps x

  15. Juliet McGrattan

    My children went to a recycling plant and came back with all sorts of info and enthusiasm about making the world a better place. I was jealous as it sounded so interesting so I can understand why you enjoyed it. I’m sure our instructions are to take bottle tops off before putting the bottle in the recycling bin and that’s what I’ve been doing so I’ve learnt something.


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