Joint Venture Formed to Boost European PET Bottle Recycling

Coca-Cola Enterprises and France’s APPE commit $11.6 million to plant expansion.

October 9, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Atlanta, has announced plans to invest €6.5 million (US$8.4 million) in a joint venture with French packaging company APPE, division of the Spanish firm LSB.

According to a CCE news release, the investment is designed to allow APPE’s PET facility in Beaune, France, to boost production of recycled-content PET at the plant by up to 70 percent, from around 28,000 metric tons per year to 48,000 metric tons of PET per year.

The joint venture between the two companies also involves research and development into what CCE calls advanced recycling technologies that can be used at the recycling facility. Combined, the two companies are investing around €9 million ($11.6 million) on the project, which includes the installation of a new SSP (solid-state polycondensation) tower at the Beaune plant. The tower, supplied by Switzerland’s Bühler Group, offers “advanced recycling technology with a smaller footprint than existing equipment,” according to CCE, and will enable APPE and CCE to test new recycling techniques.

CCE refers to the new JV as “only the most recent move that APPE has taken to invest and grow its plastics recycling business.” The company also invested €10 million in new equipment in 2010, which took the site up to its currently capacity.

“We are delighted to be working with our long-term partner CCE in such an exciting and ground-breaking initiative,” says Martin Hargreaves, APPE general manager. “We have always emphasized the importance of both end-market support and long-term investment to fully realize the potential of PET recycling. It is hugely encouraging that CCE has the same vision and commitment and is keen to play such a pivotal role in helping to assure the successful long-term future of recycled PET.”

The initiative is one of two recycling projects launched by the European arm of Coca-Cola. According to CCE, both “are aimed at improving recycling behavior and infrastructure, as part of its plan to become a zero carbon and waste company.”

CCE also will be funding a research program with the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, exploring how consumer behavioral change strategies can improve at-home recycling rates in the UK.