CCEP makes further investment in eliminating virgin plastics

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

CCEP has strengthened its partnership with CuRe Technology to accelerate its progress towards 0% virgin PET
CCEP has strengthened its partnership with CuRe Technology to accelerate its progress towards 0% virgin PET

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Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has strengthened its commitment to eliminating virgin plastics in its bottles with an investment in scaling up technology to convert hard to recycle polyester into high quality recycled PET (rPET).

The drinks firm has made further investment in recycling start-up CuRe Technology through its investment arm CCEP Ventures. CuRe uses ‘polyester rejuvenation’ to target plastics that cannot be recycled by mechanical recycling methods to prevent them from being incinerated, downcycled or sent to landfill.

CuRe removes impurities such as coloured pigments, then repolymerise or ‘rejuvenate’ the material into clear pellets of the same grade and quality as virgin oil-based PET.

This process creates high-quality rPET with a carbon footprint about 65% lower than virgin PET, which can be used for food and drink packaging and re-processed as many times as necessary – further accelerating the transition to a circular economy for PET and creating a new stream of rPET.

Rolling out across Europe

CCEP will have access to CuRe Technology’s rPET for use in its bottles in Europe, which will be supplied by a new plant set to start production in 2025.

CuRe started working with CCEP in 2020

Joe Franses, vice president of sustainability at CCEP, said: “We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our packaging and eliminating the use of oil-based virgin plastic in our bottles by the end of the decade.

“Packaging challenges need big ideas to tackle them and through CCEP Ventures we can accelerate innovative solutions to help us meet our ambitions. CuRe’s technology will give us access to recycled plastic that will accelerate our transition to a circular economy for our packaging.”

Longstanding partnership

Header picture - Please recycle
CCEP has invested heavily in recycled packaging

CCEP’s investment in CuRe’s ‘polyester rejuvenation’ technology is the latest chapter in its partnership with the recycling firm that began in 2020. The drinks firm hoped the partnership would remove more than 200,000 tonnes of virgin oil-based PET from its packaging portfolio a year.

Josse Kunst, chief commercial officer at CuRe Technology, added: “We are excited to further strengthen our relationship with CCEP, helping drive progress on their goal to create more sustainable packaging.

“CCEP’s renewed commitment will help us complete the engineering for our first commercial plant faster, scaling cutting-edge technology and making it possible to revitalise previously difficult to recycle plastics.”

Meanwhile, drinks giant Britvic has invested £8m into its London factory to improve energy efficiency​ and cut carbon emissions by 50%.

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