Coca Cola partners on plastic packaging recycling project
Coca Cola European Partners has worked with Viridor and plastics recycling firm PET UK on a project to reprocess PET liner waste from the product packaging for its Smartwater bottled water range.
The project involves the processing of the transparent plastic liner which carries labels during the manufacturing process, before they are applied to the PET plastic bottles.
CCEP estimates that around 8 tonnes of liner waste is generated for every 10 million bottles of Smartwater produced.
In 2015, around 40 tonnes of the material was produced – costing around £8,500 in disposal costs for CCEP. This is likely to increase further with Coca Cola expecting to have produced around 90 million bottles of Smartwater by the end 2016.
CCEP has worked with packaging producer Avery Dennison, Viridor and PET UK to develop a process that sees the siliconized PET liner recycled for remanufacturing.
Material is collected from CCEP’s Morpeth factory – where Smartwater has been produced and bottled in the UK since 2014.
PET UK shreds and extrudes PET liners into a granulate at its site in Dumfries, which is then used for the production of new PET thermoformable sheets. These can be used in the production of rPET resin, which is then used for the production of items such as PET staple fibre, strapping or thermoformable sheets, used in the production of trays.
According to CCEP, the project has resulted in a saving of around £25,000.
Commenting on the project, Joe Franses, director of corporate responsibility for CCEP, said: “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. 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.
“This example shows how we can turn the crisis of resources into a business opportunity through close collaboration across the value chain. Businesses which can be truly innovative with the products and services they provide, optimising the resources they use and encouraging consumers to do the same, have the potential to transform our economy.”
Iain Steel, technical service manager, at PET UK, added: “PET UK are pleased to once again bring value to what was previously a waste stream by collaborating with other businesses to help make the transition to a more circular economy.”
Viridor’s national key account manager, Teresa Etherington, said: “The project was a great opportunity to work together was a great opportunity to work together with suppliers through innovation and continuous improvement to drive down cost and improve service level for our client Coca-Cola European Partners.”
Xander van der Vlies, sustainability director for Avery Dennison Materials Group Europe, said: “We have close relationships both with PET UK and with CCEP’s waste management company Viridor, and together we have been able to establish a strategy that saves on waste and emissions while at the same time giving CCEP concrete business benefits and cost reductions.”