New waste-saving scheme for Coca Cola European Partners

As part of its ongoing sustainability commitments, Coca-Cola European Partners has partnered with several industry leaders in the field of packaging, labelling and recycling to support a new waste-saving initiative at its Morpeth site.

Coca Cola European Partners has collaborated with recycling and waste management specialist, Viridor; labelling and packaging solutions company, Avery Dennison, and PET UK, one of the UK’s leading plastic processors in an initiative which aims to see the business recycle around 70 tonnes of waste each year from the production of its glacéau smartwater bottle labels.

During the production process, self-adhesive labels are carried on a transparent plastic (PET) liner, before being applied to the smartwater bottles. Rather than becoming waste, these liners can now be retained and used to make new products including PET staple fiber, strapping or thermoformable sheets – which can then be used to make trays.

The initiative is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of Coca Cola European Partners Morpeth factory by approximately 80-100 tonnes of CO2 annually, which reportedly equates to approximately 15 homes’ electricity use over a year.

CCEP’s Morpeth factory is the sole site in GB to produce glacéau smartwater, which first launched in 2014.

Last month, the factory announced a £14m investment to support the smartwater brand, with a new high-speed fully automated bottling line, more than doubling production capability to 56,000 bottles an hour compared to the previous line’s capability of 18,200 bottles per hour. This year, the site expects to produce around 90 million bottles.

Jane Buckley, operations director, CCEP - Morpeth.
Jane Buckley, operations director, CCEP – Morpeth.

Operations director of Coca-Cola European Partners – Morpeth, Jane Buckley explained: “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.

“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.

“With around half of the total carbon footprint of our products coming from packaging, we are determined to set the standard for sustainability in this area, and we were one of the first UK businesses to sign all three of the Courtauld Committee pledges. We are very excited to be working with some of the biggest organisations in the packaging and recycling spheres who share our commitment to support the circular economy.”