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Coca-Cola and partners invest heavily in label waste recycling

United Kingdom РCoca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) says a new initiative will recycle some 70 tonnes of waste each year from the production of Glac̩au Smartwater bottle labels.

The initiative is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of CCEP’s factory in the UK town of Morpeth by approximately 80-100 tonnes of CO2 per year, which equates to approximately 15 homes’ electricity use over a year.

An estimated 90 million bottles will have been produced at the facility this year. Around eight tonnes of liner waste is generated for every 10 million bottles of Smartwater produced, CCEP states. ‘In 2015 more than 40 tonnes of PET liner waste was produced, costing us £8500 (US$ 10 722) in handling and disposal costs,’ the company adds.

During the production process, self-adhesive labels are carried on a transparent PET liner before being applied to the Smartwater bottles. The liner then previously went into the waste stream. Now, rather than becoming waste, these liners can now be retained and used to make thermoformable sheets etc. to produce trays.

Last month, it was announced that a sum of £14 million (US$ 17.7 million) is to be invested in a new high-speed fully automated bottling line – more than doubling production capability to 56 000 bottles per hour.

‘With the recent site investment in Morpeth considerably increasing production capabilities, it is more important than ever for CCEP to reflect on its waste management as a business,’ comments Jane Buckley, operations director of CCEP, Morpeth. ‘This initiative will be an effective step in recycling more of our waste, and working towards our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of the drink in the consumer’s hand,’ she adds.

Project partners include waste management leader Viridor, plastic processor PET UK, as well as labelling and packaging solutions company Avery Dennison.

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