UK – Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has commissioned a new £16 million (US$19.73m) production line at its Sidcup plant, south east London, designed to handle lightweight tins ranging in size from 330ml to 500ml.

The investment forms part of a wider £55m (US$67.8m) investment that the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler has planned for the facility and supports a new £39m (US$48.1m) automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) warehouse in Sidcup.

According to CCEP, the depot saved more than 10,000 road miles by HGV trucks and almost four tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

 “As a truly local business, we are proud to manufacture some of the nation’s favourite drinks – right here from our factory in Sidcup,”​ said Rory Kerr, operations director at CCEP Sidcup.

“This recent investment demonstrates CCEP’s long-term commitment to the Sidcup area and to manufacturing in GB as a whole,” he added.

Meanwhile, The Coca-Cola Company in partnership with Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) has unveiled its first sample bottles made using recovered and recycled marine plastics.

The Company unveiled 300 sample bottles made of ocean plastic as prototypes to be tested, with hopes that the packaging could be rolled out in the commercial supply chain.

The beverage company claims that the sample bottle is the first ever plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for use in food and drink packaging.

The company is using the depolymerisation process to build the low grade plastics retrieved from the Mediterranean and beaches into the materials used to create food-grade quality PET plastic. 

Tim Brett, President for Coca-Cola Western Europe, said: “Too many of the world’s finite resources are currently discarded as waste.  We know we need to do more to correct this.  The targets we have set out today are ambitious and rightly so.

“There is a valuable role for packaging, but it must always be collected, recycled and reused.  Our aim, working in partnership, is to see the term “single-use plastic” become redundant, both in our business and beyond, as all of our plastic – and indeed all of our packaging – is delivered within a closed loop”.

Coca-Cola plans to roll out its first bottles using enhanced recycled content at commercial scale in 2020.