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‘Despite the fact nearly all of our packaging is recyclable, it is often not recycled’

CCE will have all cardboard and corrugated packaging FSC certified by the end of 2015

By Jenny Eagle+

17-Jun-2015
Last updated on 17-Jun-2015 at 15:32 GMT2015-06-17T15:32:15Z

CCE cardboard and corrugated packaging FSC certified

‘Despite the fact nearly all of our packaging is recyclable, it is often not recycled’, says Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) in its 10th annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) Report.

CCE claims it will support the circular economy, use recycled and renewable materials and recycle more packaging than it uses in future as its packaging accounts for nearly half the carbon emissions in its value chain.

25% less material across all packaging formats

The firm’s strategy includes using 25% less material across all its packaging formats such as recycled aluminum, glass and steel; ensuring 40% of the PET it uses is recycled PET and/or PET from renewable materials and ensuring 100% of its cans and bottles are fully recyclable.

Hubert Patricot, executive, VP/president, European Group, CCE, said the company focused on the lightweighting of aluminum cans and PET bottles last year, as these will have the biggest impact in reducing its packaging-related carbon emissions.

We will continue to review our use of PlantPET, as well as other renewable materials, as part of our overall commitment in the years ahead,” he said.

Most of the corrugated packaging we use comes from recycled sources. However, a small proportion of virgin fiber is still needed for strength and this needs to be carefully sourced.

We are working with our suppliers to gain Sustainable Forest Management accreditation under the Forest Stewardship Council. We have made significant progress in this area, and aim to have all of our cardboard and corrugated packaging FSC certified by the end of 2015.”

The report states CCE monitors improvements by tracking its packaging use ratio – the average total weight of packaging per liter of product. Its 2014 ratio of 120.5g/liter is 19.6% less than in 2007 (149.5 g/liter).

Its 2014 packaging use ratio was up slightly on its 2013 rate (120.1 g/liter) by 0.4%, due to an increase in smaller packaging sizes.

95% less energy to produce recycled aluminum than virgin aluminum

According to Patricot, it takes 95% less energy to produce recycled aluminum than virgin aluminum.

Increasing the recycled content of our cans represents our best opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and is therefore a top priority,” he added.

We’re working with NGOs, government, industry bodies and local authorities to encourage consumers to recycle more. We also support recycling campaigns such as Metal Matters, Chaque Canette Compte, ‘Happiness Recycled’ and numerous in-store and online retail campaigns.

PlantBottle packaging

In parallel, we are working with aluminum and steel producers and can manufacturers to raise the recycled content in our packaging.”

The report also states CCE has begun investigating the use of renewable sources of PET in its packaging. Since 2009, it has used PlantBottle packaging which is PlantPET derived from sugar cane and molasses.

In 2014, 27.8% of its PET bottles were PlantBottle, used primarily in SmartWater in Great Britain and in 500ml Coke PET bottles in Norway and Sweden.

It takes about 60% less energy to produce recycled PET (rPET) than virgin plastic, making rPET the second greatest opportunity we have to reduce our packaging carbon emissions,” added Patricot.

We are committed to a long-term solution for sourcing high quality rPET for our packaging. As a result, in Great Britain, we have established a long-term supply agreement with ECO Plastics.

In France, we have invested in plastics reprocessing at Infineo Recycling, our joint venture with APPE, which produces enough high quality rPET to cover our requirements in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.”

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