Coca-Cola invests in huge new recycling centre

Posted on 7 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is to embark on a joint venture with ECO Plastics to build a £15m new recycling factory in Lincolnshire which will more than double the UK’s capacity to reprocess PET bottles.

The new facility will be able to process up to 40,000 tonnes of PET each year when fully operational and will help CCE achieve its target of including 25% recycled PET in all of its plastic packaging in Britain by 2012.

CCE GB Managing Director, Simon Baldry said: “CCE is committed to transforming recycling in Great Britain. Our investment in this project with ECO Plastics will start to address the recycling challenges in this country. British PET bottles will be recycled for re-use in packaging that will be sold from the shelves of British retailers.

“The amounts of high quality rPET produced in GB will more than double, enabling CCE to meet our ambitious target of incorporating 25% rPET in all our plastic bottles by 2012. At the same time, we are working with our customers to encourage shoppers to recycle more as part of our wider sustainability efforts.”

CCE is putting up £5m of equity towards the initial construction costs of the facility while ECO Plastics will raise the remaining £10m. There will then be a ten year joint venture deal in place which will ensure that the facility meets Coca-Cola’s needs over that period. Currently, CCE sources food-grade recycled PET from continental Europe, while around two-thirds of used British plastics packaging is exported for reprocessing.

The new recycling facility will be built on ECO Plastics’ current site in Lincolnshire, and will be operational next year. The joint venture will create 15 jobs during the construction phase and up to 30 new jobs once the site is operational.

The move was saluted at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with Waste Minister, Lord Henley commenting: “This investment builds on the public’s enthusiasm for recycling and will make it easier for them to buy recycled plastic products such as the famous Coca-Cola bottle. It more than doubles the UK’s ability to turn used drinks bottles into new ones, which reduces the carbon footprint of every bottle made, compared with using virgin material.

“Coca-Cola and ECO Plastics’ efforts are an innovative blueprint for the future, and show how producers can take responsibility to step up to this challenge.”

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. is the world’s third-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, covering CCE is Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. It employs 4,500 people in the UK.