According to a survey by data and analytics company GlobalData, Coca-Cola’s micro-chipped bottle trial, conducted at the University of Reading in the UK, could serve to alter plastics bottle usage habits among consumers.

The trial saw the installation of Coca-Cola’s Freestyle fountain dispensing machines on campus at the University of Reading, which enabled customers to pre-pay for a set number of refills that are dispensed into a micro-chipped refillable bottle, rather than use customary disposable plastics bottles.

GlobalData’s survey claims more than a quarter of Brits (27 per cent) are somewhat influenced by environmental or ethical factors when purchasing soft drinks, suggesting that initiatives like this may have the potential to appeal.

Melanie Felgate, consumer analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Climate change and the environmental burden of plastic waste have become major global issues, with beverage manufacturers and coffee chains under growing pressure to reduce the number of plastic bottles and paper cups going to landfill. Recent figures predicted global consumption of plastic bottles will exceed a staggering half a trillion per year by 2021.

”Although such schemes rely on behavioural change – people must remember to carry their reusable bottle with them – the recent success of the plastic carrier bag levy in UK supermarkets proves that consumers are willing and able to adjust. Indeed, Tesco has reportedly handed out 1.5 billion fewer plastic carrier bags since the five pence charge was introduced in 2015.”