The announcement was made as part of Britvic's annual sustainability report.
Britvic has ‘taken significant steps’ towards exploring wood fibre bottles as a viable and alternative packaging option for soft drinks.
In partnership with Innovate UK and Natural Resources (2000) Ltd, the soft drinks manufacturer has been working to revolutionise packaging across multiple sectors with sustainably sourced and renewable wood fibre materials that are fully recyclable.
The owner of Robinsons squash and J2O emphasised that the project was still in ‘its early days’ but said that the research process into fibre and pulp has provided essential information for its R&D team to explore further alternate packaging solutions. The bottle forms one of a number of potential solutions at this point, Britvic said.
The company has also announced a 1.5% reduction in its water usage and an improvement to its waste generation and recycling. The achievements were announced in Britvic’s annual sustainability report and form part of a £240 million investment in improving its supply chain.
Britvic chief supply chain officer Clive Hooper said: “At Britvic, we know that to be a successful business in the long term we must be a sustainable business and this means listening to the needs of our consumers, our customers, our communities, and our employees.
“We understand that packaging and the environmental impact of waste is a major concern and we’re committed to working collaboratively with others to explore innovative solutions. The wood fibre bottle is a great example of what potentially can be done and its development has provided great insight into what will and won’t work in terms of quality standards and mass production in the future. We’re now working hard to take our learnings from the fibre bottle to investigate fibre-based sustainable packaging materials further.”
In January 2015, Danish brewer Carlsberg teamed up with packaging company ecoXpac to develop a fully biodegradable wood fibre bottle.
As part of its £240 million investment, Britvic invested £25 million in its plant in Leeds to install a new high-speed bottling line. The line has resulted in a 22% reduction in water use and a 45% reduction in energy consumption relative to production volumes. The upgrades have also allowed the Pepsi bottler to access the latest in packaging technology, allowing it to blow and fill lighter bottles and reducing the amount of plastic packaging needed every year by 155 tonnes.
Britvic’s UK and Irish business sent zero waste to landfill last year and maintained a recycling rate of nearly 92%.
Finally, as part of Britvic’s commitment to reducing waste, Britvic sent zero waste to landfill in GB, and maintained a recycling rate of nearly 92%. As part of its community outreach, the company also partnered with Recoup to encourage 25,000 festival-goers at Liverpool’s Fusion Festival to recycle their plastic bottles, which resulted in the collection and recycling of over 10,000 plastic bottles and nearly half a tonne of carbon saved.
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