Oceana launches campaign to promote refillable bottles and reduce single-use plastics

Press Release Date: April 13, 2022



Irene Campmany | email: icampmany@oceana.org | tel.: +34 682 622 245

Oceana’s new international campaign #RefillAgain calls on leading beverage companies to offer refillable bottles for their clients and reduce single-use plastic 

What’s worse than single-use jeans? Single-use plastic bottles. American celebrity Heidi Montag’s single-use jeans brand, S1NGLES, is revealed to be launched as part of Oceana’s campaign

Oceana’s new international campaign is asking supporters to protect the ocean by calling on major beverage companies and bottlers to expand refillable systems in Europe and around the world. A report by the organisation found that just a 10% increase in refillables in all coastal countries would result in as many as 7.6 billion fewer single-use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean every year.

Single-use plastic bottles are a bad idea that we’ve gotten used to,” said Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “Our campaign was designed to show the absurdity of single-use. The time to act is now as the production of single-use plastic is set to grow by 30% in the next five years. Fortunately, in the case of soft drink companies — cited as the top polluting brands for the last three years by Break Free From Plastic — there is a proven and practical way to reduce throwaway plastic bottles by increasing the share of refillable bottles. If we want to save the oceans, we need to refill again.”

As part of this campaign, Oceana today revealed the reason for the launch of the fictitious single-use jeans brand S1NGLES. Developed pro bono for Oceana by the award-winning creative agency the community and launched with the support of American celebrity Heidi Montag, the campaign brings to life the absurdity of single-use and why we should “refill again” instead of using single-use plastic bottles.  

In a video released today, Montag disclosed that S1NGLES — single-use jeans — was a bad idea, just like single-use plastic bottles. Like single-use denim, single-use plastic bottles are flawed by design. These bottles are made of a material that can last for centuries yet are designed to be thrown out after only a single-use.

The European Union is about to revise its Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, an opportunity to set legally binding targets to reduce single-use packaging. Oceana and its allies recommend setting a 75% reusable packaging target by 2030 and 100% by 2035 for beverages (soft and alcoholic) in the retail sector. This measure would contribute to reducing resource use and marine pollution.

Notes to the Editor:

Plastic pollution is killing the ocean. The equivalent of two garbage trucks worth of plastic are dumped into our ocean every minute and up to 34 billion plastic bottles become marine pollution every year. The results are devastating for ocean ecosystems and animals like sea turtles, birds, and whales.

Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. The best way to keep plastic bottles from polluting the oceans is to replace them with refillable bottles. Refillables are bottles that companies sell to customers that are then returned, washed, refilled, and sold again. Customers return these bottles because they pay a deposit that is refunded to them upon returning the bottle. The bottles, made from polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) or glass, are used 20 to 50 times and are essentially all returned and collected by the companies, as opposed to single-use plastic bottles, which are used once, disposed of, and left to be collected or cleaned up by waste management authorities.

For decades until the 1970s, refillable systems were the primary way beverage companies sold billions of soft drinks around the world. Today, refillables make up nearly 23% of all Non-Alcoholic Ready to Drink (NARTD) beverages sold globally, according to Oceana’s report, but have effectively been fully replaced with single-use bottles in many countries.

In the wake of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, the Coca-Cola Company has made a commitment to increase the share of its products sold in refillable and reusable containers to 25% of everything it sells by volume by 2030. In addition, PepsiCo recently committed to making its own reusable goal by the end of this year.  


Visit the #RefillAgain’s website here.