The transition to a circular economy for the plastic we use across our own packaging portfolio, and for the beverage industry, demands a boost in recycling capacity in many parts of the world, particularly for PET.
We are helping drive this transition in our markets, by accelerating our investments to build recycling capacity and scale new technologies in Australia, Indonesia and Europe. Through joint ventures and long-term supplier agreements, we’re increasing onshore recycling capabilities, unlocking new supplies of recycled plastic, and developing industry models and new technologies to drive and meet growing demand for recycled plastic.
We share the beverage industry’s ambition and commitment to create a closed loop for plastic packaging, one that ensures bottles are recycled back into bottles rather than downcycled. However, recycling capacity has struggled to scale in line with growing demand, as other consumer goods companies look to use more recycled PET content in packaging and compete for limited supply with non-food industries such as fashion and textiles. Therefore, it is imperative that recyclers, waste management companies, packaging manufacturers and others in the value chain collaborate to support the beverage industry in the transition to circularity and substantially increase PET plastic recycling capacity - alongside driving a step-change in collection. And it’s critical that the beverage industry is given fair access to the resin outputs to effectively close the bottle-to-bottle loop, supported by the right legal mechanisms.
Investing locally to increase recycling capacity
Our latest venture, a new PET plastic recycling facility in Victoria, Australia, is the result of a cross-industry partnership and will be the largest of its kind in the State, once completed in 2023. It’s the second facility CCEP Australia is building and operating with Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages, and Pact Group – through a joint venture that draws on the expertise of each entity. The first recycling facility, in New South Wales, will be operational from March 2022.
Each plant will have capacity to process a billion plastic bottles, together producing over 40,000 tonnes of high-quality recycled PET bottles and food packaging each year. The two facilities will be the largest end-to-end rPET plants in Australia.