Beverage brands bank on rPET for packaging sustainability: Page 2 of 2

By Rick Lingle in Sustainable Packaging on September 11, 2019

Please comment further on the role of partnerships.

Franses: Partnerships are a crucial part of our work in this area. There are companies dedicated to solving these problems and by working with them we not only empower them to grow and advance their own technology, we are able to use the best technology possible.

Besides our investment in Loop Industries to purchase a supply of 100% rPET plastic, we have also invested in Ioniqa Technologies in supporting the scale-up of its recycling technology that transforms hard to recycle plastic waste into high quality, food-grade PET. [You can read the press release about the announcement here.]

We’re also looking carefully at new zero-waste business models that provide an alternative to single-use packaging.

Earlier this year, we joined forces with recycling firm TerraCycle to trial Loop, an innovative new shopping system designed to reduce reliance on single-use packaging. The scheme will allow consumers to use refillable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and then reused (see image above). We’re working with our customer, retailer Carrefour in Paris, on a pilot scheme using our iconic glass bottles.

Elsewhere, we also support major litter clean-up campaigns through local partnerships with Mares Circulares and Ecomar Foundation in Spain and Portugal; Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy in the UK; and Mooimakers and Wallonie Plus Propre in Belgium.

 

On a related matter: What’s the reasoning to change the Sprite brand from green bottles to clear PET?

Franses: The movement of Sprite bottles from the traditional green bottle to a clear plastic bottle is that it’s more easily recycled bottle-to-bottle.

While both our green and clear plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, green PET bottles and many other colored PET bottles cannot be recycled back to clear plastic through the traditional mechanical recycling process. This means that future use and the long-term value have some restrictions; it’s harder to use green PET bottles to make new bottles.

By transitioning to clear PET bottles, we will remove this constraint.

We’re continuing to work in partnership with government, industry and waste management partners in every market we operate to improve collection and recycling rates, as well as investing in new technologies, such as enhanced recycling, to accelerate the availability of food-grade quality rPET.

 

What else would you like to say to Packaging Digest readers?

Franses: Both Honest and Glacéau Smartwater have a huge following in the U.S., while being relatively young brands in Europe. We have ambitious growth plans for both of these brands, as we continue to broaden our portfolio to offer consumers different drinks to meet changing tastes and lifestyles.  As we invest to grow these brands, we are committed to doing so sustainably. This is a clear signal of ambition in terms of our wider portfolio. We have a stated target to reach 50% rPET across our total portfolio, a goal we hope to meet and exceed by 2025. 

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Packaging professionals will find pre-Halloween packaging treats in Minnesota during MinnPack 2019 (Oct. 23-24; Minneapolis) in the form of solutions for food packaging, package design, shipping and more. Attend free expert-led sessions at multiple theaters around the expo.

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Rick Lingle

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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