AUSTRALIA – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), one of the largest anchor bottlers for Coca-Cola has joined a new partnership aimed at enhancing Australia’s plastic recycling capacity.  

Other members in the partnership include leading Australian beverage manufacturer Asahi Beverages, packaging solutions provider Pact Group, and Cleanaway Waste Management.   

The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture that will build and operate the new plant. 

Pact, Cleanaway, and Asahi Beverages are already collaborating to build a PET recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga – expected to be completed later this year. 

The newly announced proposal with backing from CCEP, is however a game-changer as it will result in the processing of the equivalent of around 1 billion bottles each year to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of recycled PET bottles and food packaging. 

Waste management company Cleanaway will provide PET through its collection and sorting network, and Pact provide technical and packaging expertise, while CCEP, Asahi Beverages and Pact will all buy the recycled material from the plant. 

Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed by 2023, with a decision on its location anticipated in the coming months. When fully operational, the plant will be run by Pact. 

Asahi Beverages Group CEO, Robert Iervasi, said: “This will be a ground-breaking project that will massively boost PET recycling capacity. It will help transform recycling in Australia by providing a new, local source of high-quality recycled PET”. 

The building of this large rPET plant along with the facility in Albury-Wodonga is a major step towards helping us deliver a truly circular economy for our consumers.” 

The move is timely for CCEP as the anchor bottler for Coca-Cola has a goal of ensuring that 50% of the material used in all its bottles and cans is made up of recycled content by 2030. 

The hybrid partnership with a waste management company also helps Coca-Cola in realizing its commitment to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030. 

Peter West, CCEP vice president and general manager Australia, Pacific and Indonesia, said: “This new joint venture will deliver a collaborative cross-industry solution to recycle the material that we use to produce our products”. 

Together, we can work towards creating a circular economy for PET within the beverages industry, ensuring that we are using more locally processed recycled content for the production of our bottles in Australia.” 

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