Sustainability
TECH FLASH

Coca-Cola to set sustainable packaging goals in Europe

A joint-venture with a PET recycler will make it possible

October 29, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Coca-Cola Enterprises Schematic
This schematic describes how CCE's recycling system will work. For a larger image, click on the picture. Source: Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), which produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola products in Western Europe, has announced two initiatives focused at improving recycling behavior and infrastructure as part of its mission to become a low-carbon, zero-waste business. Plans are two-fold: achieve zero waste in its own operations and recycle more packaging that it uses.

CCE is establishing a new joint venture in France with PET recycler APPE to boost the capacity of its plastics reprocessing facility by 70 percent. The joint venture will recycle 20,000 additional tons of plastic into food-grade packaging per year. CCE is also funding a research partnership to explore how consumer behavior-change strategies can improve at-home recycling rates in Great Britain and France. 

Recycling rates in Great Britain and France remain below most other European countries, despite growing awareness of environmental concerns among consumers. Only approximately half of plastic bottles are collected for recycling in these two countries. As a result, manufacturers face restrictions in the supply of locally available recycled PET.

“Our goal to lead our industry in sustainable packaging and recycling means we must support and promote improvements throughout our value chain,” says John F. Brock, chairman and CEO of CCE. “These initiatives aim to address two of our biggest challenges in this area—improving recycling rates by influencing consumer behavior at home and meeting the increasing demand for recycled PET through investments in strategic infrastructure projects.”

While consumers express strong beliefs related to recycling, at-home recycling rates do not reflect their intent. For example, 79 percent of consumers polled at the 2012 Olympics Games claimed to always recycle plastic bottles at home, yet national data shows recycling rates are much lower.

The research program will seek to define interventions that can overcome this gap between belief and behavior. It will be delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter and will be based upon in-depth, ethnographic research of households in Great Britain and France over a 10-month period.

“Our approach will be to work intensively with households to understand how recycling and waste behaviors have developed and how the dynamics within family units influence such everyday practices,” says Dr. Stewart Barr, associate professor of geography at the University of Exeter. “In this way, we will work alongside households to co-create strategies to embed sustainable recycling patterns in the future. This project will provide valuable knowledge for a wide range of businesses seeking to influence environmental behaviors, as well as government and NGOs.”

The scope of the research project will be developed in partnership with CCE’s stakeholders through a Collaboration Forum, which was held in central London for the sustainability community, industry partners, customers and suppliers. A webcast of the Collaboration Forum can be viewed at http://www.cokecce.com.

CCE’s investments in strategic infrastructure partnerships seek to ensure a holistic approach to the recycling challenge. The CCE/APPE €6.5 million joint venture will invest in a new line at APPE’s existing recycling facility in Beaune, France and fund the trial and introduction of state-of-the-art technology, enabling more efficient recycling. To view a video describing CCE’s sustainability efforts in general, visit CCE’s website.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

FE October 2014 Cover

2014 October

The October 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores companies that have successfully grappled with "the new business reality" and are coming to terms with it being here to stay. Also, read about the work going on behind the scenes to keep FSMA on track.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.