UNESDA-Soft Drinks Europe is the Brussels-based trade association representing the non-alcoholic beverages sector, specifically European producers of soft drinks including carbonates, still drinks (e.g. ice teas), energy drinks and fruit-based drinks. The membership of UNESDA comprises 23 national beverages associations and 9 companies with operations in several Member States. The EU soft drinks sector is rooted in the European economy and society throughout its €185 billion value chain - employing 1.7 million people along its value chain, and with 424 soft drinks production and bottling plants.
In February 2021, UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe announced its Circular Packaging Vision 2030, pledging that EU beverage packaging (plastics/glass bottles and metal cans) will be fully circular by 2030: 90% collected, PET bottles made from 100% recycled and/or renewable material, and increased use of refillables. With this pledge, UNESDA aims to accelerate the soft drinks industry’s transition to a circular economy. Its goal is that EU beverage packaging is recognised as a resource in a circular economy. Packaging should never end up as litter because it has value, is recyclable, should be collected and reused as recycled content.
By 2025, 100% recyclable beverage packaging & PET bottles of 50% recycled content.
By 2030, PET bottles of 100% recycled and/or renewable PET, 90% collected & more use of refillables.
UNESDA Circular Packaging Vision 2030 goes beyond current EU legislation. The Single-Use Plastics Directive requires companies to use at least 25% of recycled material in PET bottles by 2025, going up to 30% by 2030.
UNESDA’s commitments surpass these targets. It is willing to use PET bottles with at least 50% rPET by 2025 and to reach 100% recycled and/or renewable material in PET packaging by 2030, by which time it also aims to achieve at least 90% collection of beverage packaging for aluminium cans, glass and PET bottles, surpassing the 90% collection EU target for PET bottles only.