Yorkshire manufacturer puts plastic pollution problem under the microscope during Plastic Free July

Posted on 17 Jun 2022 by The Manufacturer

With Plastic Free July* about to start across the globe, a Yorkshire manufacturer that specialises in keeping carbonated drinks fizzier for longer, is continuing to use its unique insight and expertise to help drinks manufacturers get to grips with the problem of plastic pollution.

Global business CO2Sustain, pioneers of the carbonation aid CO2Sustain®, is educating the drinks industry about using less plastic in its packaging and increasing production at its Leeds production facility to help businesses reduce the volume of plastic packaging they use. 

CO2Sustain’s innovative solution can proactively aid the process of ‘light weighting’, a technique that aims to reduce plastic consumption in the beverage industry by using thinner plastic in the packaging process. 

Plastic pollution continues to trigger mounting pressure on drinks manufacturers to reduce plastic usage and the environmental impact of using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. UK manufacturers and bottlers are further incentivised to cut down on plastic as they benefit from cost savings by using less increasingly expensive raw materials, especially since the introduction of new ‘plastic tax’ legislation in April of this year.

As a packaging material for carbonated drinks because plastic is porous, gas leakage is inevitable. This impacts the quality of the drink inside, capping carbonation shelf life for PET packaged drinks on average at 12 months.  

Jonathan Stott, general manager of CO2Sustain. Credit: CO2SustainJonathan Stott, business manager CO2Sustain Ltd said: “We are helping soft drinks manufacturers all over the world to not only cut down their plastic use by light weighting, we are also increasingly advocating the use of glass as a viable eco-friendly alternative as it is much better at retaining CO2 and therefore is better at retaining carbonation than plastic. Although glass takes more energy to produce and transport, it is 100% recyclable meaning that each time glass is recycled, the resulting product has no loss of quality. Glass can also be reused as it can be washed and sterilised. Most plastic can be recycled, but it degrades with each cycle.”

Simply added during the manufacturing process, CO2Sustain® works by discouraging bubbles from merging into larger bubbles increasing the perception of fizziness in the finished beverage. For drinks manufacturers using glass bottles, the quality of the carbonated drink inside is improved further as it is possible to get more CO2 into the container without it escaping. The quality and fizziness is enhanced even further by the addition of CO2Sustain®

Added Jonathan Stott: “Drinks manufacturers who use our product can make a huge difference to the environmental damage resulting from plastic bottles. In developing CO2Sustain our scientists are able to retain carbon dioxide in carbonated drinks, making drinks fizzier and for longer. This means beverage businesses are free to produce drinks that use less plastic whilst maintaining the carbonation shelf life standard. With no impact on taste or appearance, our innovative non-silicone product has the potential to contribute to massive waste reductions globally which is great news in the global battle against plastic pollution.”

CO2Sustain works with drinks brands and manufacturers across four continents and is active in 25 countries across Europe, the United States and Latin America, India, Africa and the Middle East. 

Continues Jonathan: “We want to support innovation in sustainability and provide drinks manufacturers and brands with the best environmentally friendly solutions. Plastic Free July provides the perfect opportunity to work in partnership to educate and inform.”

CO2Sustain will be demonstrating the effectiveness of its solution at drinktec in Munich from 12-16 September 2022. The team will be based in the New Beverage Concepts area located in Hall A5, Stand 711.

Read more of our Sustainability articles here

*Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to cut plastic pollution. The annual initiative provides resources and ideas to help people reduce single-use plastic waste in their lives.