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Continuum Recycling celebrates bottle sorting success

United Kingdom – The pioneering recycled PET (rPET) joint venture between Coca-Cola Enterprises and ECO Plastics, called Continuum Recycling, has sorted a quarter of a billion bottles since the £15 million (US$ 22.5 million) facility was opened in the UK nine months ago.

Continuum is responsible for processing over 50% of the UK’s bottle-grade rPET. Located on the site of ECO Plastics’ existing facility at Hemswell in the east of England, ‘the world’s largest plastics sorting plant’ was able to meet its commitment to use 25% rPET in all its bottles by the end of 2012 – which both partners claim to be ‘an industry first’.

The plastics plant also helped Coca-Cola in its mission to recycle all of the plastic bottles used during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, resulting in around 15 million being collected and returned to shelves as part of 63 million new bottles over a six-week period.

Continuum has ‘proven to be a landmark initiative for the reprocessing industry’ and the facility has been ‘truly transforming recycling in this country’, according to Nick Brown, associate director for recycling at Coca-Cola Enterprises. Jonathan Short, managing director of ECO Plastics, comments: ‘Continuum was built in record time. Taking 10 months to move from ground-breaking to full commissioning for a plant of this scale and sophistication is no small achievement. Now to be exceeding our ramp-up plan is further testament to the expertise, dedication and determination of our team.’

According to Coca-Cola and ECO Plastics, the plant will save around 33 500 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions each year, the equivalent of taking over 15 715 cars off the road. Last year, Continuum received the Best Partnership prize at the Green Business Awards in recognition of the facility’s impact on the UK’s recycling industry.

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