Smarter sustainability solution helping us recycle more waste

9 Smartwater main


Action on Packaging |

An innovative sustainability partnership between Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), Viridor, Avery Dennison and PET UK will see CCEP recycle around 70 tonnes of waste this year from Smartwater bottle labels at our site in Morpeth, Great Britain.

This collaboration shows how working together across the value chain can help to turn the crisis of resource scarcity into a business opportunity. During the normal Smartwater production process, a self-adhesive label is applied to the bottles. Before they are applied, the labels are carried on a transparent plastic (PET) liner, which becomes waste after they are dispensed.

Around eight tonnes of liner waste is generated for every 10 million bottles of Smartwater produced. In 2015 more than 40 tonnes of PET liner waste was produced, costing us £8,500 in handling and disposal costs. This year the site expects to produce 90 million bottles.

Working together with Avery Dennison, a global leader in labelling and packaging materials and solutions; Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, resources and renewable energy companies; and PET UK, one of the UK’s leading plastics processors, the PET liners can now be used to make new products. Through their inclusion in recycled PET (rPET) resin they can go on to create PET staple fiber, strapping or thermoformable sheets, which are used to make trays.

This initiative is an important step forward for CCEP, helping us to recycle more of our waste, and confirms our commitment to support the circular economy. It is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of our Morpeth factory by approximately 80-100 tonnes CO2e annually (as much as 15 homes electricity use over a year) and could generate an annual saving on disposal costs of around £25,000.

Joe Franses, Director of Sustainability at CCEP, said: “We are very aware of both the risks and opportunities that resource scarcity poses to our business, in particular for our packaging. We are clear that our economy needs to evolve from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ model and we need a more circular, longer-term way of thinking. This example shows how we can turn the crisis of resources into a business opportunity through close collaboration across the value chain. Businesses which can be truly innovative with the products and services they provide, optimising the resources they use and encouraging consumers to do the same, have the potential to transform our economy”.