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Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has exceeded its target for recycled plastics in its bottles, and looks set to improve on that figure, thanks in part to its joint venture recycling plants in Australia.

The company is now ahead of its target of 50 per cent of recycled plastic used in its packaging, reaching 54.9 per cent last year, up from 48.5 per cent in the previous year.

News on CCEP’s recycling drive came as the company released its full year figures to 31 December, which saw the Asia Pacific business achieve a 5.5 per cent revenue growth and 12 per cent growth in operating profit. CCEP says its revenue growth in Australia and New Zealand was higher than any other soft drinks business in the area, and says that its margins are growing. Reported in Euros, its operating profit in the Asia Pacific, which includes Australia and New Zealand, rose by 10.5 per cent on a constant currency basis. Its revenue for the region reached €3.75bn, with €497m in operating profit.

CCEP's  Australian joint venture with Pact Group, Asahi and Cleanaway – the Circular Plastics Australia PET – has two recycling plants operational, the first opened in Albury in March 2022, and the second, a $50m facility capable of recycling the equivalent of up to one billion 600ml PET plastic beverage bottles a year, commenced operations in Altona North just before Christmas.

The latest facility is equipped with technology to produce 2.5 tonnes of recycled PET resin per hour, and when fully operational, it will be able to produce around 20,000 tonnes of recycled PET resin each year. The plant will convert used beverage bottles into high-quality food-grade resin, which will then be used to make new recycled PET beverage bottles, as well as food packaging such as meat trays and fruit punnets.

Bottles collected through CDS in Victoria will be recycled at Circular Plastics Australia PET in Altona North.
Bottles collected through CDS in Victoria will be recycled at Circular Plastics Australia PET in Altona North.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia managing director, Orlando Rodriguez, said: “CCEP is determined to be a leader in Australia’s circular economy. Through this investment, alongside the introduction of Victoria’s CDS, we have made great strides in closing the loop on beverage packaging locally. Seven out of 10 of our PET bottles are now made from 100 per cent recycled plastic (excluding caps and labels).”

The plant will play a key role in recycling PET bottles collected through the CDS as well as PET plastic packaging from household and office recycling bins.

CCEP has also now partnered with The Coca-Cola Company, other bottlers, and Greycroft, a seed-to-growth venture capital firm, to create a sustainability-focused venture capital fund, in a bid to further develop sustainability across its operations.

 

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