New Zealand prime minister John Key opened CCA's new Auckland site on Saturday, and its bottling lines include 'blow-fill technology' that will allow Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand (CCANZ) to design and self-manufacture its own PET plastic beverage bottles using less raw materials.
Coke's anchor Asia-Pacific bottler and distributor, based in Sydney, Australia, will be able to produce approximately 28,000 bottles per hour on each blow-fill line following the Auckland investment.
The NZ$35m (US $28.3m) Auckland upgrade follows the announcement of an NZ$15m investment at CCANZ's Christchurch plant earlier this year and form parts of CCA's AUS $450m (US $472m) investment in blow-fill manufacturing, the largest infrastructure investment for the company in a decade.
The technology is being installed across CCA's production facilities in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji from 2010-2015.
CCA MD, George Adams, said: "Blow-fill technology will provide a quantum lift in the company's manufacturing capability in New Zealand. Innovation like bottle self-manufacture heralds a step change in sustainable packaging, delivering changes which are good for the company, our customers and crucially the environment in which live and operate."
Blow-fill bottle technology cuts the carbon footprint of every bottle produced by around approximately 20%, due to bottle redesigns using less PET resin, and production line energy savings, while in-house production removes the need to transport empty bottles from a third-party supplier.
CCANZ estimates it will save around 650 tonnes (or 12%) of PET resin per year, which equates to 24m 600ml PET Coke bottles, with its new PET bottles (used for CSDs L&P, Schweppes, Deep Spring and Coca-Cola) 10-15% lighter.
Other material savings include reducing the use of secondary packaging, making labels lighter, and cutting-out the need for a plastic liner in closures.