Coca Cola tackles plastic waste production in new partnership

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A new plastic recycling project between Coca Cola and British recycling firm announced

Leading beverage brand Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP) has formed a new partnership with a British-based recycling firm and waste management firm as it confronts its plastic waste generation head on and investigates new ways to develop and implement more sustainable options.

CCEP will be working with leading plastic recycling firm Polymer Extrusion Technologies (UK) Ltd (PET UK) and a British waste management firm to reprocess a plastic liner which is used during the manufacturing process of the company’s Smartwater range.

Coca Cola European Partners has formed a recycling partnership for plastic waste

Coca Cola European Partners has formed a recycling partnership for plastic waste

According to CCEP’s estimates, it generated more than 40m tonnes of the plastic liner waste in 2015 during the production of Smartwater. The plastic waste was not reused or recycled but simply disposed of, resulting in waste costs of £8,500.

Alongside its new partners and packaging manufacturer, Avery Dennison, CCEP has developed a more sustainable solution for the plastic liner waste, which is expected to increase in 2016, as the Smartwater brand grows.

The plastic line will be collected by CCEP and collected from its Morpeth factory, from whence it will be transported to Dumfries, where PET UK operates a plastic recycling plant. Here, the plastic liner waste will be reprocessed into rPET resin, which is used for the production of a number of products.

Joe Franses, CCEP’s director of corporate responsibility, commented: “At Coca-Cola European Partners we are fully aware of the risks and opportunities that resource scarcity poses to our business, in particular for packaging.”

He added: “We are clear that our economy needs to evolve from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ model and we need a more circular, longer-term way of thinking.”

As a direct result of the recycling project, CCEP has forecasted savings of up to £25,000.

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