Demand for feedstock derived from plastic recycling has received a boost from a production plan released by Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS), although there is potential for competition from supplies of plant-based plastic-like material.
The drinks manufacturer has said its packaging will be 100% recyclable inside the next decade, as part of plans to move to only use “sustainable plastic bottles” and is to use 50% recycled content by 2025.
The company said, in a statement, that by 2030, it “will aim to use plastic that has been previously used or biosourced (plant-based) to reach its 100% sustainable plastic packaging target”.
This will be done through “embracing” existing mechanical recycling processes and investment in new technologies like ‘enzymatic recycling’ and ‘Japanese Flake to Preform processing’ – which the company said will be crucial for helping the company to make the change.
In the medium term LRS says it will use 50% recycled content “across primary packaging” by 2025.
The planned changes come two years after the company was singled out in 2017 by the Recycling Association for having packaging that was difficult to recycle, in a move that received national press coverage.
Commenting on yesterday’s announcement, Peter Harding, CEO of LRS’s parent company Suntory Beverage and Food Europe (SBFE), said: “Our priorities are limiting our impact on natural resources, eliminating waste, and reducing our carbon footprint.”
The changes and innovations we are making are massive
Mr Harding added: “The changes and innovations we are making are massive – they are set to remove thousands of tonnes of new plastic made from fossil fuel from our manufacturing operations every year.”
The statement pointed to steps the company has already in recent months to address plastic waste.
This includes a bottle redesign across its core drinks, to reduce the full printed sleeves that cover some of the manufacturer’s bottles. The company said this mean that automated sorting machines in UK recycling centres will be better able to identify the packaging.
Carol Robert, COO of Lucozade Ribena Suntory added: “I am so pleased to reveal such an ambitious goal of 100% sustainable plastic. Lucozade Ribena Suntory has had a fantastic year in terms of the sustainability partnerships and initiatives it has been able to announce in 2019, so this feels like a logical, if ambitious, next step.”