Coca-Cola keeps green bottle commitment following ECO Plastics sale
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has insisted its use of recycled materials in bottles will not drop following the sale of its 50% stake in the UK's only plastic bottle recycling plant.
German investment firm Aurelius has today (12 December) completed the purchase of ECO Plastics, which opened one of the world's largest plastic bottle sorting plants in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, in partnership with CCE in 2012.
The plant, which is capable of sorting 150,000 tonnes of mixed bottles per year, helped CCE reach its goal of including 25% recycled plastics (rPET) in all of its plastic bottles. Financial details of today's deal are undisclosed but CCE has confirmed it has entered into a long-term agreement to continue to source rPET from the site at the same rate.
A CCE spokeswoman said: "We are pleased that ECO Plastics has found a buyer to support the next stage in the development of the UK's most important supplier of food-grade recycled PET.
"As part of the financial agreement, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd has agreed not to continue with the joint venture, Continuum Recycling. In return, CCE has entered into a long-term agreement to source recycled PET from Eco Plastics.
"This new arrangement will ensure that CCE continues to use a minimum of 25% rPET in our plastic bottles in Great Britain, allowing us to deliver on our commitments to set the standard for sustainable packaging."
Vote of confidence
Aurelius has a strong track record in the plastics sector. Previous investments in this space include its acquisition of Wellman International - Europe's largest recycler of PET bottles and a leading producer of polyester staple fibre products.
ECO Plastics' Founder and Deputy Chairman Jonathan Short said: "This news is not just a vote of confidence in the future of ECO Plastics, but a vote of confidence in the promising future of the UK's fast growing recycling sector.
"Working with AURELIUS will take the ECO Plastics story to the next level. This new owner will not only bring in new expertise and financial resources, but also a shared commitment to the development of a more sustainable, circular economy in the UK."