Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) and ECO Plastics announce the official opening of their groundbreaking joint venture, Continuum Recycling. Completed on time and on budget, the £15 million facility is a first for Great Britain, and brings the recycling process full-circle, with used plastic packaging sorted and reprocessed domestically, before returning to GB shelves as part of another bottle.
Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach at the Opening Ceremony
Opened by Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach, this morning, the Continuum Recycling plant will more than double the amount of bottle-grade recycled plastic (rPET) previously created in Britain, and will allow CCE to meet its commitment to use 25% rPET in all its bottles by the end of 2012. The factory is located at ECO Plastics' existing site in Lincolnshire, which, with the additional capacity, becomes the world's largest plastics reprocessing facility.
Continuum Recycling will be used this summer by Coca-Cola as part of an initiative to collect Coke and additional PET soft drinks bottles and turn them back into new bottles on the shelves within six weeks.
Simon Baldry, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: "Our investment in Continuum Recycling shows that we are serious about setting the industry standard for sustainable packaging. Today's opening of this £15m state-of-the-art facility will transform recycling in this country and ensure that we achieve our ambition of incorporating 25% recycled PET in our plastic bottles. This is a first for the industry and an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to build a low-carbon, zero waste business here in Great Britain."
Jonathan Short, Managing Director of ECO Plastics, said: "Today is a great day for ECO Plastics and a great day for UK recycling generally. It demonstrates the huge potential of working with global leaders like Coca-Cola Enterprises, as well as the strategic value of long-term partnerships. Together they have provided us with confidence to invest in the next-generation technology which will be crucial to our industry's future development."
Continuum Recycling is the first time that the beverage and recycling industries have formed a long-term strategic partnership and will provide CCE with high-quality rPET for a minimum of ten years. It will save around 33,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking over 15,715 cars off the road. 30 new skilled jobs have been created for the local area as a result of the partnership.
Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach said: "With the opening of this facility, the UK is now home to the world's largest plastics recycling plant, bringing jobs and growth to the rural economy of Lincolnshire. Coca-Cola Enterprises and Eco-plastics innovation and investment has made this project a reality - exactly what we want to see more of right across the country.
"Recycling is a growing industry, and investment in these types of projects not only makes good business sense - it will help us achieve our ultimate aim of a zero-waste green economy."
Jon Woods, General Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland, said: "The opening of Continuum Recycling will take Coca-Cola a huge step towards helping LOCOG make London 2012 the most sustainable Games possible. The eyes of billions around the world will be on the UK throughout London 2012, and this presents a unique chance to trigger shifts in sustainable behaviour.
"Since we first sponsored the Games 84 years ago we've sought to learn from our experiences and improve. We have been working with LOCOG to ensure London 2012 is a zero waste Games and will be collecting all empty soft drinks bottles from the Olympic Park and then recycling and returning the plastic into new bottles. The six week bottle-to-bottle recycling system has been developed in partnership with Continuum Recycling and other partners, and is just one example of what is our most sustainable sponsorship activation to date."
David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability, LOCOG said: "This is a fantastic new development that will help us on our journey towards delivering a zero waste to landfill Games. We want to use the Games to inspire a generation on sustainability issues and that means businesses too."