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Environment Minister inside Europe’s largest plastic bottle recycling facility

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey today visited Europe’s largest plastic bottle recycling facility to see how Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) plans to support the circular economy in Great Britain by doubling the amount of recycled PET used in all its bottles by 2020.

As part of its new packaging strategy, CCEP has set out an ambition to work with local and national partners to recover all of its packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter.

CCEP’s plan to use 50% recycled PET in all its plastic bottles by 2020 is a key element of the new strategy and will be achieved through a partnership with Clean Tech UK, which will supply the recycled material from its reprocessing plant in Hemswell, Lincolnshire. The plant, which was acquired by Plastipak Europe in 2016, has been supplying recycled PET to CCEP for five years. CCEP has already sourced 50,000 tonnes of recycled PET from the plant and is now set to become the largest user of recycled plastic in the food and drink industry through its new deal with Clean Tech.

The two businesses were able to share with the Minister their ideas for increasing the amount of plastic bottles recycled in Great Britain.

Thérèse Coffey, Environment Minister, said: “It is really encouraging to see Coca-Cola embracing sustainable packaging options to help reduce waste, make better use of resources and encourage more people to recycle and cut littering. I hope more companies will follow suit with steps to make their products more sustainable.”

Julian Hunt, Vice President Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “Our desire to double the amount of recycled material we use in our plastic bottles sends a clear signal that we want to play a positive role in supporting the circular economy here in Great Britain. Our ambition – and our ability to go further in the future – will require reform of the packaging collection system in Great Britain and we will work with others to champion the changes that are required to ensure all our valuable materials are recovered.”