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Coca-Cola to launch its lightest ever PET CSD bottle in Britain

Manufacturer of Coca-Cola Company products in the UK Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is shortly to launch its lightest ever PET carbonated soft drinks bottle in Great Britain.

Production of the new 500ml bottle will start this September; the drinks company says the move will enable it to reduce the amount of PET packaging it uses annually by over 700 tonnes.

The news follows the company’s recent signing of WRAP’s (Waste & Resources Action Programme) Courtauld Commitment, the high profile initiative under which the Government-backed body is working with retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and packaging suppliers to reduce the amount of food and packaging waste that ends up in the household bin.

Following recent, partly WRAP-funded trials, CCE has developed a new 24g PET bottle which is set to replace the 26g bottle currently used for brands sold in the UK including “Coca-Cola”, “diet Coke”, “Coke Zero”, “Fanta”, “Sprite” and “Lilt”. Perfecting it saw the company work closely with PET supplier Amcor PET Packaging to redesign the preform; resulting in it being able to use a stronger, lightweight bottle “with no decrease in quality, performance or customer satisfaction”. Over four million 24g PET bottles were produced, filled and market tested during trials, the success of which has subsequently seen CCE invest over £150,000 in modifying the bottle blowing equipment at its Sidcup and Wakefield factories to allow manufacture of the new bottles. The first will roll off production lines at Sidcup in September, followed closely by the lines at CCE’s Wakefield plant, said to be Europe’s largest soft drinks factory, early next year. CCE says 350m 24g bottles will be produced annually across both sites, achieving an annual saving of some 700 tonnes.

CCE project manager Christine Watson says: “CCE has made significant progress on lightweighting PET bottles over many years; balancing environmental efficiency with technical and quality performance and consumer expectation. It is a significant technical challenge for the industry to reduce weights even further. The trial, however, offered no guarantee of success and WRAP’s support was highly valued.”

One of the new 24g lighter PET bottles, co-developed with Amcor PET Packaging, soon to begin rolling off CCE bottling lines