The soft drinks brand has committed to ensuring its Lucozade Sport bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic by the end of 2021. Suntory claims the move will save 3,400 tonnes of virgin plastic annually.
Alongside this, the bottle will be redesigned with a smaller label, around 50% of the size of the original, by the end of 2021. Suntory says this will ensure the bottles can be sorted into clear waste streams at material recycling facilities.
A ‘recyclable alternative’ to the bottle’s silicon valve, the nozzle at the top of the bottle, will also be introduced next year.
Suntory is also to switch its Lucozade Energy brand to 30% rPET bottles and move to a half-sized sleeve in 2022. A fully transparent sleeve for the Lucozade Energy bottles is being rolled out now.
Suntory says the changes represent a total saving of 3,500 tonnes of virgin plastic and 9,000 tonnes of CO2.
Toby McKeever, chief operating officer at SBF GB&I, said: “This investment into our iconic Lucozade brand marks a huge step towards our 2030 sustainable plastic packaging goals and makes the UK’s biggest sports drink brand also one of the most sustainable.
“From professionals to grassroots players, Lucozade Sport is a staple for athletes across the country and I urge these sports drink fans to go the extra mile and recycle their bottle.”
Formed in 2014 as Lucozade Ribena Suntory and part of Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, SBF G&I’s soft drinks brands include Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Lucozade Revive, Ribena, Orangina and May Tea.
‘Above and beyond’
A raft of recycling organisations including the Recycling Association endorsed Lucozade Sport’s rPET bottles and reduced sleeve design.
“This is market-leading, and we fully applaud them for their efforts”
Simon Ellin, the association’s chief executive, said: “We have been critical in the past of brands using a full plastic sleeve around their bottles. Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I have gone above and beyond remedying this in their redesign, by not only minimising the plastic sleeve and ensuring the whole bottle is recyclable, but they’ve moved to using 100% recycled material in its manufacture too. This is market-leading, and we fully applaud them for their efforts.”
The move was also backed by recycling minister Rebcca Pow, who said: “I am pleased to see Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I make this investment into their Lucozade brand. This is exactly the sort of ambitious leadership we need from industry to ensure more materials are recycled and reused.”
SBF GB&I recently committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050 (see letsrecycle.com story).
The company has committed £7.8 million in total to making its packaging more sustainable. Other recently launched initiatives include a redesigned Ribena bottle and the replacement of plastic straws with paper alternatives on all Ribena cartons (see letsrecycle.com story).