Innocent claims first with fully recycled bottles

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Recycling

UK-based Innocent claims to be the world's first beverage
manufacturer to package its brands in polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) bottles made only
from recycled material.

The group, which is one of the UK's leading smoothie brands, claimed on Friday to have become the world's first manufacturer to package its brands in bottles made from 100 per cent recycled material.

The announcement highlights the importance to beverage manufacturers of adapting environmentally sounds practices, both to attract the environmentally concerned consumer and offset the rising costs of packaging materials.

According to Innocent, four varieties of its smoothies will initially come in the fully recycled bottles, before the initiative is rolled out throughout it entire portfolio from 1 January next year.

The group said that the switch to using fully recycled materials had been an ongoing process that has taken seven years to come to fruition.

In 2000, the company began using bottles made from 25 per cent recycled plastic.

A further redesign in 2005 allowed for 50 per cent of its packaging to be made from reusable material, before the move up to fully using ony recyclable PET.

Besides the environmental benefits, the company claims that its latest lighter bottle design requires twenty per cent less materials, is 100 per cent recyclable, and has helped reduce carbon emissions from bottle manufacture by 55 per cent.

Commenting on the announcement, Friends of the Earth's Mike Child welcomed the strategy by Innocent as an important example to beverage manufacturers that environmental sustainability was viable for business.

"This food and drink industry first demonstrates that carbon saving is possible if businesses choose to work at it," he stated.

Despite his optimism, Child pointed out that the industry still needed to do more to prevent climate change, suggesting that legislation focusing on incentives for businesses that adopted greener practices would ensure increasing solutions were available for manufacturers.

With greener bottles now in place, Innocent said its next focus would be on reviewing the materials used in its labelling.

The plan will require the group to ensure that paper used in its labels contains 25 per cent recycled content, with the other 75 per cent coming from material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

FSC requirements call on paper to be produced in a manner that allows for responsible management of forests that are being used to supply paper and other materials to business.

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