Europe Chooses Reuse: Time for Companies to Follow Suit | Oceana

Europe Chooses Reuse: Time for Companies to Follow Suit

Following European Parliament final vote paving the way for reusable packaging, Oceana calls on major beverage and bottling companies to take the lead in transition to reuse

Press Release Date: April 24, 2024

Location: Strasbourg, France


Gillian Spolarich | email:

The European Parliament today voted to formally adopt a new regulation which establishes reusable packaging requirements for beverages. The targets for reusable beverage packaging are a minimum of 10% by 2030, and 40% by 2040. The new law, “The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation” (PPWR), once in force, will apply to the 27 countries of the EU and impact approximately 440 million consumers. Importantly, it is expected that an outcome of this regulation will be that many of these consumers will soon be given the option to purchase beverages in reusable packaging in countries where this option currently doesn’t exist.

“The EU chose reuse and it’s time for beverage companies and top plastic polluters, such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, to prioritise refillable bottles, taking action with urgency now to introduce and scale up reusable packaging systems in all EU countries to meet and surpass the targets,” said Dr. Dana Miller, Oceana’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. “That’s what regulators, investors, and consumers expect, and the oceans can’t wait any longer.”

Reusable packaging is effective at reducing plastic pollution because a single refillable bottle can be used up to 50 times and a reusable cup over 100 times. Each use eliminates the need for a single-use bottle or cup that would otherwise have been thrown away or littered, with either pathway possibly leading to the ocean.

Two of the largest soft drink bottling companies in the world are based in Europe and operate across the European Union — Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC). These companies both have experience operating large-scale refillable bottling systems in places like the Philippines, Germany, and Nigeria. Oceana is calling on these companies to commit to scaling up reusable packaging in all their markets and to lead a European — and global — transition to reuse.

Key elements of the PPWR include:

  • Reduction Targets: Legal obligations to reduce packaging waste by at least 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040.
  • Reusable Packaging Mandates: Specific targets for reusable packaging for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (with some exceptions) set at a minimum of 10% by 2030, and aiming to reach at least 40% by 2040.
  • Take-Away Food and Beverages: Take-away businesses will be required to implement reuse systems for packaging by 2028 and shall endeavour to achieve 10% reuse by 2030.
  • Deposit Return Systems: By 2029, EU Member States are required to set up deposit return systems for beverage cans and plastic bottles and the systems should be as accessible for reuse as for single-use packaging.
  • Prohibitions on Single-Use Plastics: By 2030, the new regulation will ban single-use plastic packaging for a wide range of products in the HORECA sector (hotels, restaurants, and cafés), including beverage packaging.

The implications of this legislation once enacted will be vast, impacting major beverage companies like PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and its European bottlers CCEP and Coca-Cola HBC. Aspects of the regulation not only apply to manufacturers but also to suppliers, importers, distributors, and retailers, who will be tasked with ensuring a portion of their packaging is reusable.

To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to reduce plastics, go to

About Oceana:

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-quarter of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 300 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, oil and plastic pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles, whales, and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world.