Suntory pledges '100% sustainable' plastics packaging across Europe by 2030
Beverage giant Suntory has pledged to eliminate virgin fossil-fuel-based plastics from its packaging portfolio across Europe by 2030.
The commitment will cover several of the continent’s best-known soft drinks brands including Lucozade, Ribena and TriNa.
In order to reach the target, Suntory will invest in the development of new packaging made from recycled plastics and bio-based alternatives. It has set an interim target of ensuring these materials account for 50% of the content of its plastics packaging portfolio by 2025.
In a drive to source more recycled plastics, Suntory has begun investing in solutions such as Carbios – a French startup which has developed technology that breaks down polymers into monomers, making them easy to reuse in new rigid plastics packaging such as drinks bottles.
It will also invest in supporting the implementation of national deposit-return schemes across its key European markets and work to ensure that its plastics packaging is classed as 100% recyclable in all nations in which it is sold.
Further moves to lightweight plastics packaging will also be made, following the success of such redesigns for 500ml Ribena bottles.
Suntory’s chief executive for Beverage and Food Europe Peter Harding said the new commitments build on the company’s founding promise “to coexist with people and nature”.
“The changes and innovations we are making are massive; they are set to remove thousands of tonnes of new plastic made from fossil oil from our manufacturing operations every year,” Harding said.
“This will also contribute to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions since sustainable plastic has a lower carbon footprint than making new plastic.”
Suntory is notably a signatory of The UK Plastics Pact from WRAP and has therefore committed to ensure that 100% of the plastic packaging it sells in the UK is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
It is also investing heavily in plastic-free packaging. After successfully trialling edible and biodegradable seaweed-based sachets at smaller-scale sporting events last summer, the company this year handed out more than 30,000 of the innovative packages, called Ooho, at the London Marathon.