Coca-Cola pilots new packageless drink technology

Coca-Cola pilots new packageless drink technology

Photo collage of a fountain drink machine pouring soda in a reusable bottle

Coca-Cola has partnered with a new technology system that will allow Canadians to enjoy their favourite drink and produce less plastic waste.

During this pilot, users will be able to purchase a reusable cup, microchipped with ValidFill technology, that’s also synced to Coca-Cola Freestyle machines and their phones, allowing them to pour their favourite drink at any time.

Since the technology can only be activated with one specific cup, it’s the perfect “packageless” delivery method for those who want to reduce their waste while still enjoying the drinks they love.

“This is only just the beginning,” said Crystal Drover, Freestyle Lead at Coca-Cola Ltd. “Coca-Cola is constantly innovating and investing in sustainable ways to offer our beverages. These ValidFill-enabled machines are a perfect example of the technology and creativity that’s expected to come with the next generation of our products.”

So, how does ValidFill technology work?

The refillable cups are equipped with micro-chipped radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. These “smart” cups offer a cashless product delivery method that helps to minimize the need for packaging while also supporting the needs of local businesses who sell Coca-Cola products.

Freestyle is just one example of how Coca-Cola is rethinking the way the company manufactures, packages and distributes their drinks. It all ladders up to a bigger sustainability strategy.

In January 2018, Coca-Cola announced their World Without Waste strategy , which set an ambitious goal to collect a bottle or can for each one sold in the market, use 50% recycled material in their packaging, and make their packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.

In Canada, 99.5% of Coca-Cola’s packaging is recyclable. The company is also investing in different ways to reduce the need for virgin plastic. ValidFill-enabled Coca-Cola Freestyle machines contribute to the company’s sustainability goals because they are packageless, cut waste in product manufacturing and require less on-road transportation.

Additionally, the syrup cartridges have a smaller carbon footprint than tradition syrup packaging. They’re manufactured in a Gold LEED certified facility with renewable power and water conservation technology.

They also contain 15-30% recycled content.

“We’re really excited to see how this pilot project goes and how people will respond to this technology,” Drover adds. “We know sustainable packaging is a top concern for Canadians and we’re doing our part to be at the forefront of environmentally-friendly innovation.”

Other global markets have already implemented this Coca-Cola Freestyle innovation. Watch the video below to see how Coca-Cola Freestyle has been integrated at Ohio State University in the United States and the University of Reading in the UK.