The recycled material will be used in packaging across the cider maker’s entire portfolio of products, including its own-label ciders. The move is ahead of a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs on a proposed tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled material.
Head of compliance and sustainability Jamie Weall claimed Aston Manor would be the first business in the alcoholic drinks industry to use 51% recycled material in its packaging.
“This is a clear priority for Aston Manor Cider and supports our wider investment in sustainability,” he added. “We recognise that consumers, customers and the Government want to see action on this and we are proud to be the first to step up.
“Our commitment to deliver this is sincere and backed by industry-leading innovation to make it a reality. Not only is this a significant step for Aston Manor Cider, but the mainstream cider industry too. As we produce numerous brands and own-label cider, this will reach millions of consumers.”
The first alcoholic drinks manufacturer to sign up to the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s UK Plastics Pact, Aston Manor’s move to using more recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging formed a key part of its sustainability programme, which included making 100% of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable.
It estimated that the move to 51% rPET would save about 1,000 tonnes of raw material a year, equivalent to 25m fewer plastic bottles made from original material. The bottles will be filled at the manufacturer’s Aston, Birmingham and Tiverton, Devon sites.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) reported on the efforts of its members in reducing their environmental impact as part of its Ambition 2025 programme.
FDF member Princes Foods worked with its bottle supplier Plastipak from 2007 to use bottles containing more than 51% rPET for all the soft drinks and oils it produces by 2019.
Princes supplies 922m rPET bottles each year within its leading brand ranges, including Napolina, Crisp 'n Dry, Jucee and Aqua Pura.