Coca-Cola European Partners reaches major sustainability milestone

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

CCEP plastic bottle are now 50% recycled plastic
CCEP plastic bottle are now 50% recycled plastic

Related tags: Drinks

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has revealed that all plastic bottles across all its core brands made in Great Britain are now made with 50% recycled plastic (rPET).

The move means Coca-Cola in Great Britain has increased its rPET usage by a further 25% and is now using over 21,000 tonnes of recycled plastic per year. 

To announce increase in recycled material, bottles will carry new labels notifying consumers of the change and encouraging them to recycle the bottle.

The move comes as part of the business’s long-term investment in the UK’s circular economy since helping to establish the UK’s biggest bottle-to-bottle plastic reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire in 2012 which reprocesses bottles collected from households across the UK.

Milestone

Stephen Moorhouse, general manager at CCEP Great Britain, said: “This milestone marks an important step towards our ambition across Western Europe to remove all non-recycled plastic from our bottles.

“One of the key challenges the industry currently faces is that there isn’t enough food-grade recycled plastic locally available in the UK to switch to 100% rPET across our entire range. There needs to be more high-quality recycled plastic produced, so it’s vital to make sure we collect more bottles in an efficient way, and stop it ending up as waste.”

He said that the company supports the introduction of a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme if it is consistent across Great Britain and coupled with investment in infrastructure.

Recycling

CCEP has funded CuRe Technology​, a recycling start-up which handles difficult to recycle plastic polyester waste. Once operational, CuRe has the potential to support CCEP and The Coca-Cola Company’s ambition to eliminate virgin oil-based PET from its PET bottles within the next decade.

Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at Waste and Resources Action Programme, said: “It takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared with using virgin material, and it’s always important to remember that using recycled content in the manufacture of new products and packaging is the whole point of recycling. 

“Not only does it mean that less new plastic is being used, it also ensures that it is being kept in the packaging recycling system and out of the environment.”

CCEP opened a new £20m line at its Edmonton factory in North London​ last year as part of a wider £150m investment in its UK operations this year.

Related topics: Drinks

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