WINNER: Coca-Cola European Partners and Plastipak
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) and Plastipak recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of their partnership.
Plastipak is a leader in the design and manufacture of rigid plastic containers for the food, drinks and consumer products industries. The company converts food-grade rPET made by Clean Tech – its pellet and flake manufacturing business – into preforms containing a minimum of 25% rPET.
CCEP blows the preforms into bottles, fills them and supplies to the consumer. Empty bottles from kerbside collections are returned to Clean Tech, with the entire process taking around six weeks.
The original 2012 joint venture between CCEP and the recycling plant marked a step change in the UK’s reprocessing capabilities, building a major PET bottle-to-bottle reprocessing plant. Through the partnership, material recovered from around two billion bottles has been reused by CCEP since 2012.
The Clean Tech recycling plant in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, was acquired by Plastipak in 2016 and now employs 150 people. The project between the organisations has evolved into an enduring and symbiotic relationship, where each relies on the other to attain their individual aspirations.
For CCEP, this partnership has secured a reliable source of rPET, allowing it to fulfil its recycled content target of 25% and expand this to 50% by 2020. For Clean Tech, CCEP’s commitment to rPET has provided an end market, which facilitated investment in the process and product. Plastipak is fulfilling its aspiration to minimise its impact on the environment and expand bottle-to-bottle recycling capacity.
JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This has been a long-term project requiring commitment and determination in the face of adverse conditions.”
The approach sees the firms share and implement core values: long-term commitment to closed-loop recycling, in good and harder times; a determination to increase recycled content in PET packaging; aspiration to reduce the overall consumption of virgin material; development of a recycling strategy to ensure a long-term, viable future for all parties – and the wider industry.
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- Dennis Eagle/Skips Educational
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- Intu Metrocentre/ O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions
- Mitie/Jones Lang Lasalle