Coca-Cola announces drinks dispenser trial

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), an independent bottler of Coca-Cola, has launched a six-month ‘controlled trial’ of its beverage dispensing machine – the ‘New Compact Freestyle’. The trial will begin this month.

New Compact FreestyleAccording to CCEP, the new machine will offer consumers the option to buy around 40 different Coca-Cola drinks and personalise the temperature and carbonisation levels ‘using their own reusable vessels’.

It is hoped that the machine will eliminate the need for PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), glass bottles or aluminium packaging – potentially reducing carbon emissions and packaging.

A Preliminary Life Cycle Analysis of the New Compact Freestyle, conducted by ifeu (the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research), has identified a lower carbon footprint per litre of chilled beverage, compared with conventional pack types. CCEP say that further sustainability analysis will be conducted in real-world conditions through the trial.

The trial is set to take place in four workplaces in Great Britain operated by Eurest, a workplace division of Compass Group. A total of nearly 6,000 people are employed at the four sites.

CCEP has announced that the first machine will be installed at Volkswagen in Milton Keynes, with trials to follow for employees at Bentley in Crewe, Harrods in London and Virgin Media in Cheshire. This trial follows similar held in France and Belgium, at different at-work and on-the-go outlets.

Dispensed options with reusable vessels can be ‘among the best packaging solutions for reducing our carbon footprint’, says the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. If rolled out, the technology could help Coca-Cola reach its global goal of 25 per cent reusable packaging by 2030 – including refillable vessels for dispensed drinks, along with refillable or returnable glass and plastic bottles.

Sam Jones, Head of Climate and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain, said: “We’re excited to see the first trial of this drinks dispenser in GB. Innovative trials like these are an important step in our journey, as they’re essential to finding scalable solutions that could reduce the amount of packaging we use, and help lower emissions as we progress towards our 2040 net-zero targets. It’s an avenue we’re keen to assess and review as we move into the test and trial phase.

‘We’re proud to be working with Eurest, the workplace division of Compass Group, and their customers in these four trial sites. The partnership enables us to gather invaluable insights on how consumers adapt to the new technology, and to better understand what more we need to do to help change consumer behaviour as we move towards a circular economy and our ambition to create a World Without Waste.”

Anne Simonnet, Head of Sustainability and Compliance at Foodbuy, added: “As a business Foodbuy understands the importance of innovation if we are to progress with our ambitious sustainability agenda. Having the opportunity to participate with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, is very exciting and we cannot wait to understand the traction these new machines will create, but also start measuring the impact these could have in reducing plastic in our Supply Chain.”