Coca-Cola water recovery process has 100bn litre potential

A new water reuse approach being taken by the Coca-Cola Company could save as much as 100bn litres of water annually if implemented across its global bottling plants, says the company.

By recovering water from bottling facilities, rather than following a standard treatment and discharge process, Coca-Cola says it can improve water use efficiency by up to 35%.

Already tested commercially in plants in India and Mexico, the system is claimed to produce ‘high-quality water that meets and/or exceeds drinking water standards’. Its use by the company, however, is entirely for non-product activities such as ‘clean-in-place and bottle washing’.

“Addressing global water challenges requires our business to take an active role in conserving water resources,” said the company’s vice president for quality, safety, and sustainable operations, Carletta Ooton. “We have therefore approached this new technology with the goal of achieving the highest possible quality in recovered water.”

Coco-Cola says there is currently an ‘absence of global reuse standards for the food and beverage industry’, a situation which they have addressed by pursuing their own ‘scientifically rigorous’ recovery and reuse approach.

The resulting system takes already treated process water which is then subjected to biological treatment in a membrane bioreactor, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, ozonation and ultraviolet disinfection.

The company, which sells 1.8bn drinks a day, is currently reviewing plans to roll-out the new water use technology to its partners for implantation across all bottling facilities in 2013 and beyond.

edie staff

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