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Famous Coke “Contour” bottle loses weight in time for Christmas

As part of its “commitment to reducing packaging waste” Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is cutting the weight of its “iconic” 330ml glass Coca-Cola bottle by a fifth – a move it says will save annually over 3,500 tonnes of glass raw material and an estimated 2,200 tonnes of CO2.

All new 330ml glass bottles of Coca-Cola, diet coke and Coca-Cola Zero for sale in England, Scotland and Wales will now be made to specifications conforming to what Coca-Cola is dubbing its new “Ultra” lightweight design. With its weight reduced from 263-210g, the new container is 0.1mm wider and around 13mm shorter than the original.

First developed in 1916, the Contour bottle is, as Coca-Cola says, “one of the most recognised icons in the world today”. The “Ultra” lightweight bottles have been developed in America using new CAD software that helps determine the stress points and optimum weight of glass containers. Coca-Cola says this allows technicians to create the strongest and lightest viable container design. Coca-Cola Enterprises, which manufactures and distributes The Coca-Cola Company products throughout England, Scotland and Wales, says that over coming months it is intended that all 330ml glass soft drinks bottles bottled by Coca-Cola businesses worldwide will be produced in the new, lighter format.

Last June CCE signed the Courtauld Commitment, a UK-initiated voluntary agreement on reducing packaging, which has now been signed by 26 brand owners, manufacturers and retailers.

Gareth Snowdon, Coca-Cola supply chain manager for CCE, says: “We are looking at ways to reduce the impact of their business on the environment at every level. Our commitment to this is such that we are prepared to adapt even our most precious assets, including the glass Coca-Cola Contour bottle.

“Advances in technology have allowed us to improve upon the famous design, preserving its iconic contour shape while making it a fifth lighter and enabling a significant reduction in both the amount of glass materials used and the levels of CO2 emitted in production. Not only that, but there is no compromise on quality, so the new bottle, while being lighter, will be as strong, if not stronger, than the original.”

CCE says it is no working on lightweighting its 200ml Contour bottle, which, like the 330ml variant, is a big seller in the on-trade. The new 330ml bottles are being produced by Ardagh Glass.

The famous Coca-Cola Contour bottle before and after lightweighting