Aussie tourist slams ‘worst thing’ about Europe – but it could be here soon

Major drink manufacturers like Coca-Cola may soon be changing the design of their bottles in Australian stores. But not everyone is a fan.

An Aussie man called the tethered lid design the
An Aussie man called the tethered lid design the "worst" thing in Europe. Source: adamdensten/TikTok

Australia could soon roll out a controversial bottle design that’s been described as the “worst” by one detractor. Despite the noble intentions behind the move it’s divided consumers in every country it’s been introduced.

Trying to drink from bottles with tethered lids will be a familiar challenge for anyone who has bought a Coke in Europe recently. While some think it’s a convenient way of ensuring you don’t lose your lid, others claim it’s rather annoying.

Adam Densten, who appears on Gogglebox Australia, was touring across the continent and was so frustrated by the design he called it “the worst thing about Europe”. He uploaded a dedicated spray to TikTok, attracting over 300,000 views and hundreds of comments.

“Why is it hanging off?” he complains.

Some viewers agreed with Densten, with one saying she’d spilled her drink three times because she wasn’t able to twist the cap back on properly. “It’s genuinely difficult to get the cap back on with this design. Many older people cannot do it at all,” another person wrote.

But others weren’t convinced by Densten's whinge. “He’s Australian, enough said,” one quipped.

“It’s not hard to just turn the bottle [so] the cap is to the side,” another said. “I love it – stops your lid from falling on the floor,” someone else added.

What’s not in dispute is that Australia’s current bottle design which allows you to remove the cap is a disaster for the environment. Most are not recycled, and if they make their way into the ocean their bright colours result in them being easily mistaken for food by seabirds and fish.

Despite the minor annoyance it can cause, tethering caps to bottles helps ensure the bottle and the cap are recycled together and don’t end up littered.

The European Union issued a directive in 2019 to mandate the design, a measure it hoped would reduce litter on beaches by 10 per cent.

The change could soon be rolled out in Australia too. It will likely be debated in mid-2024, as the country begins public consultation for mandatory obligations for packaging design that will be enforced by the Commonwealth.

The plan to reform packaging design was raised in late 2022 during a meeting between state and federal environment ministers. It's hoped this will result in more plastic being recovered, reused, recycled or reprocessed in line with circular economy principles.

The EU hoped its directive would reduce beach litter. Source: Getty
The EU hoped its directive would reduce beach litter. Source: Getty

The changes, which are being overseen by the federal Department of Environment, also aim to reduce harmful chemicals and other contaminants from packaging.

“Mandatory obligations for packaging design will be established in a new regulatory scheme under Commonwealth legislation. In developing national design requirements, the Government is considering international best practice within an Australian context,” a Department spokesman told Yahoo News.

The industry-led Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) expects to know whether the change will be rolled out in the coming months.

But even if tethered caps aren’t mandated, it’s possible Aussies could soon be seeing them across convenience stores and supermarkets.

“As New Zealand has introduced tethered caps as the only recyclable option in their kerbside standardisation, we may see businesses begin to introduce these caps in Australia without a directive, given both the EU and New Zealand are pushing for it,” an APCO spokesperson said.

Adam Densten has been contacted for comment.

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