Czech soft drink Kofola now available in returnable glass bottles

The classic Czech alternative to Coca Cola is now available in glass bottles that come with an eight-crown deposit, which is refunded on their return.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 23.04.2022 15:15:00 (updated on 24.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Popular Czech soft drink Kofola is now available in returnable glass bottles through the Cirkulka project, which was launched earlier this week. Customers can now find Kofola at selected Tesco locations as well as through the online store Rohlí

Kofola Group brands Rajec and Vinea are also available in returnable bottles through the project. Cirkulka aims to provide customers with an alternative to traditional packaging, and give them an incentive to recycle. While some Kofola products were previously sold in glass bottles, they were not returnable.

"Expert analysis that we have conducted shows that returnable packaging is one of the best solutions in relation to nature," Jannis Samaras, CEO of the Kofola Group, stated through a press release.

Kofola bottles at the bottling plant. Photo: Kofola
Vinea bottles at the bottling plant. Photo: Kofola

"I am glad that neither the pandemic nor the difficult economic situation prevented us from realizing our dreams, and that we brought the Cirkulka project to a successful start.”

Through the Cirkulka project, Kofola, Rajec, and Vinea can be purchased in glass 1-liter bottles with an eight-crown deposit, which is refunded when the bottle is returned to the point of purchase. While that's currently selected Tesco stores and the Rohlí delivery service, Kofola Group plans to expand the range of participating locations in the near future.

Along with the bottles themselves, a modular crate with handle that can carry six or twelve bottles can also be purchased for a fifty-crown deposit, which is also refunded on return.

Cirkulka visual. Photo: Kofola
Cirkulka visual. Photo: Kofola

"We at Rohlík strive to reduce packaging waste over the long-term, and contribute to a more gentle and sustainable relationship with nature, as well as our suppliers and customers," says Rohlí spokesperson Lutfia Volfová.

"That is why we were very happy to cooperate with Kofola on the Cirkulka project, which offers customers their favorite drinks in returnable glass bottles without disturbing their comfort zone - they are also able to return the bottles through our couriers."

The new glass bottles are produced by Sklárny Moravia, with a retro design courtesy of Slovak designer Martin Turzík. Their aluminum cap is also recyclable, while the paper label has been minimized to reduce potential waste. 

Rajec bottles at the bottling plant. Photo: Kofola
Rajec bottles at the bottling plant. Photo: Kofola

Originally invented in the 1950s as a Czechoslovak alternative to popular Western cola brands, Kofola is still widely enjoyed in the Czech Republic today thanks to its distinctive herbal mixture. It also contains about 30% less sugar than Pepsi or Coke, and about 50% more caffeine.

Kofola won't be the only Czech brand to take advantage of returnable glass bottles: when it was first announced last summer, Mattoni was also part of the project. In December, Kofola and Mattoni became joint owners of a glass bottling plant in Slovakia; look for the popular Czech water brand to offer their own line of returnable bottles in the near future.

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