Cawthray called Coca-Cola Enterprises' (CCE's) bottling plant in Wakefield, west Yorkshire "a disgrace" because it still used equipment that was installed when the plant first opened 20 years ago, asking: "Where's the carbon footprint in that?"
His comments were made during a recent soft drinks conference in London. A CCE spokeswoman responded: "With regard to the carbon footprint, it's no good just looking at part of the picture." She also said CCE did not have the luxury of being able to start from scratch. "We have to work with what we have."
By contrast, Cawthray, who began production at the Cawingredients factory in Leeming Bar, north Yorkshire, in February said it had been filled with the most efficient environmentally friendly kit. "We're blowing bottles with two thirds less energy [than standard soft drinks factories], using a compressor that is the first of its kind in the world."
He also endorsed German supplier Krones' automated filling system, which Cawingredients had installed. "We were really impressed with the new Krones electronic valve," said Cawthray. "Within a few days, performance figures of 90+% efficiency were being achieved, an experience we had not known before."
The filler could produce 300,000 two-litre bottles in a 12-hour shift consisting of one flavour change, he said.