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Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil have announced that all Coca-Cola soft drink brands (600ml and below) and all water brands (600ml and below) in Australia are now being produced in 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles. This includes Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Mount Franklin and Pump.
This follows the announcement earlier in the year that Coca-Cola Amatil will make 7 out of 10 plastic bottles from 100 per cent recycled plastic by the end of 2019. Coca-Cola’s juice and dairy brands are on track to transition and complete the goal before the end of the year.
Committed to helping close the recycling loop, Coca-Cola Australia has also ramped up its efforts to promote recycling to all Australians, announcing its sponsorship of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, now in its 24th year.
Russell Mahoney, director of sustainability at Coca-Cola Australia said; “The plastic waste crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time – one that we’re committed to help solve.
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“We know actions speak louder than words, which is why together with Coca-Cola Amatil we have made a landmark investment in recycled plastic in Australia to help support a viable domestic recycling economy.
“The other important piece of the puzzle is supporting initiatives that encourage Australians to recycle, which is why we’re proud to be working closely with Planet Ark as the major sponsor of National Recycling Week.”
As Australia’s biggest beverage company, Coca-Cola’s move to recycled plastic will significantly reduce the environmental impact of its operations; ensuring plastic from existing bottles is repurposed, while decreasing demand for new plastic.
Peter West, Managing Director of Australian Beverages at Coca-Cola Amatil, said: “Earlier this year we took our strongest step forward in reducing packaging waste by making recycled plastic the norm in 7 out of 10 products in our portfolio.
“Today we are well on track to meet that target and become a market leader in innovation as the first country in the world where all Coca-Cola bottles 600ml and under are made from recycled plastic.
“We’re meeting our target to bring our total use of recycled plastic to 16,000 tonnes this year,” Mr West said.
Ryan Collins, head of sustainability resource programs at Planet Ark and spokesperson for National Recycling Week said, “By using more recycled plastic and encouraging Australians to recycle, Coca-Cola is leading the way and taking responsibility for the end of life of its products. We know this will help stimulate a viable local recycling industry, enabling highly valuable material like PET plastic to be meaningfully repurposed.
“Just like Planet Ark, Coca-Cola does not want to see valuable resources go to waste. It’s a perfect match for National Recycling Week, and we’re thrilled to be working together for the first time this year,” Collins said.
The opening of a new multi-million-dollar production line in Waikato will see a significant proportion of New Zealand’s still bottled water packaged in recycled plastic bottles.
The new production line, at the country’s largest water bottling facility in Pokeno, is capable of producing 220 million bottles made from recycled PET (rPET) plastic annually.
NZ Drinks director Kyle Osborne said the move was part of a long term journey towards a more sustainable product.
“As New Zealand’s largest bottled water producer we felt it was our responsibility to introduce the latest raw material and manufacturing technology as an important step towards creating a more sustainable industry,” said Osborne.
“In theory, there is no limit to the number of times the plastic from a bottle of water can be recycled into new products – what we are missing in NZ is the infrastructure necessary to achieve this,” he said.
“Currently the economies of scale needed to introduce a suitable recycling facility are not there and Kiwis simply don’t consume enough of this type of product to make it viable – which leaves us out of step with bigger international markets such as Australia,” said Osborne.
NZ Drinks director Tony Vesper said the use of rPET should become the standard for still bottled water in New Zealand.
“With annual sales across our portfolio increasing at 139 per cent, our Pure NZ label is the country’s fastest growing still water brand and will now be packaged in 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles,” said Vesper.
“We first introduced recycled plastic into some of our ranges two years ago but the new line will allow us to continue to expand production of bottled water in recycled packaging, while at the same time substantially improving efficiency by reducing the weight of rPet used per bottle,” he said.
“The new line uses the latest technology from Krones, Germany and is capable of forming around 28,000 600ml bottles from recycled raw material and then filling them with water – every hour,” said Vesper.
The ultimate goal was to see an industry that was capable of capturing consumer waste like empty plastic bottles and continuously reusing them, he said.