First high street chain to remove all plastic bottles from stores, replacing with canned water


Innovative Italian-to-Go brand, Coco di Mama, has made the decision this January to completely remove all plastic water bottles from its shelves. The new initiative will save 180,000 plastic bottles per year.

Coco di Mama will be offering free water refills in all of their stores and also introducing an infinitely recyclable alternative to plastic bottles, with resealable canned water from CanO Water from £1.

CanO Water is infinitely recyclable and made from an average of 60% recycled content, compared to plastic water bottles which are made from 50% recycled content.

It can be recycled and back on the shelves in around six weeks.

Launching 15th January 2020 in all Coco di Mama stores in London

New CanO Water will be available to buy in multiple sizes of still and sparkling variants, in all 28 Coco di Mama stores across London for £1.

Customers can also get free tap water refills in all stores with their own reusable water bottle, or glasses are available for non-takeaway customers.

Cans VS Plastic – Why are cans better than plastic bottles?

Since plastic bottles are so thin, they can’t be recycled into more plastic bottles. Instead, their fibres are used in things like carpeting, clothing and sleeping bags.

Aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable, once recycled they will be turned into new aluminium cans and come back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.

Recycling plastic is more complex, leads to degradation and has lower reuse rates than aluminium. 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in productive use, having gone through countless loops of its lifecycle.

Because aluminium is lightweight and cans make efficient use of space, less transport is usually needed than for plastics or glass. Less power is also needed to chill drinks in cans.

Aluminium cans use 95% less energy to recycle, with recycling rates in the UK at 74%, demonstrating a huge emission saving.

Being far more valuable than glass or plastic, cans help make municipal recycling programs financially viable and effectively subsidize the recycling of less valuable materials in the bin.

They are recycled over and over again in a true “closed loop” recycling process. Glass and plastic are typically “down-cycled” into products like carpet fibre or landfill liner.

Aluminium cans also have a higher recycling rate and more recycled content than competing package types.

However, the most environmentally friendly option is still to bring a reusable water bottle and fill up for free!

The War on Plastic

With approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the ocean each year, the war on plastic is still raging on and not enough is being done about it by brands and businesses.

Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, far outstripping recycling efforts and jeopardising oceans, coastlines and other environments (Guardian).

According to a recent report in the Independent, there are ‘More plastic water bottles being sold in the UK than ever before’.

Sara McCraight, Head of Brand at Coco di Mama says: “Unless we make some big decisions to help customers make the right choices to stop using plastic bottles, it’s not going to get any better.

We monitor our customer feedback trends really closely and the biggest thing they are asking us is to reduce the amount of plastic packaging we have in our stores.

We’re happy to have found a great alternative that we think our customers will love without having to compromise – a great product at an affordable price point (£1) and the right decision for the planet too.

The water in a can stays colder for longer, so actually tastes more refreshing than a plastic alternative. What’s clever about the larger size CanO Water options is that they’re also resealable, which is one of the drawbacks of a typical canned drink.

It’s important for us to be clear that we’re not claiming to be perfect, but we are trying to be better in all the decisions we’re making as a brand and business.

The choice to remove plastic water bottles is certainly not going to make us any money and will likely cause a hit to our profitability in the short-term as they cost us more, but we believe it’s the right thing to do for the long-term.

We’re on a mission to completely remove single-use plastic and would encourage everyone else to do the same”.