Coca-Cola European Partners celebrates fifth anniversary of UK recycling initiative

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has marked five years since investing in an initiative to transform plastics recycling in Great Britain. The anniversary comes as CCEP passed the milestone of sourcing 50,000 tonnes of food-grade recycled plastic (rPET) for its portfolio of products sold in GB.

The original joint venture in 2012 marked a step change in GB’s reprocessing capabilities, with the £15million facility doubling GB’s production of rPET. Acquired in 2016 by Plastipak, Europe’s largest food-grade rPET producer, Clean Tech UK facilitates a full-circle, domestic recycling system.

Through the Clean Tech site, CCEP has so far reused materials from some two billion PET bottles, and reached its goal of using 25% rPET in all its bottles since 2012. The site in Hemswell, Lincolnshire now employs 150 people, and supported Coca-Cola to fulfill its pledge of supporting the most sustainable olympic and paralympic games possible.

Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP, says, “Five years ago we made a significant investment as part of our long-term commitment to transforming British recycling. The expansion of this facility was a landmark moment, not only in allowing CCEP to meet targets for rPET content in our packaging, but also in supporting the growth of a domestic system that helped to close the loop in GB plastic bottle reprocessing.

“We are confident that the progress evident in GB over the last ten years – having moved from a limited collection of plastic bottles to six out of every 10 now being recycled – indicates a positive outlook for the future. We hope that initiatives like this give consumers confidence in the potential to recycle here in GB, and will encourage them to recycle every bottle after use.”

Martin Hargreaves, managing director at Plastipak Europe, comments, “Plastipak, through its subsidiary Clean Tech, is committed to UK PET plastic recycling and our close relationship with CCEP.  As a global packaging producer, Plastipak embraces its responsibility towards the environment, demonstrated by our continued investment to further increase both the output and quality of our recycled material at Hemswell.”

Chris Brown, managing director of Clean Tech UK, says, “Plastipak is extremely proud to be the largest producer of food-grade recycled PET plastic in Europe and looks forward to working with CCEP and the beverage industry at large to make the vision of a true circular economy a reality”.

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