Royal Unibrew partner with Petainer to achieve 50% recycled plastic bottle objective.

Kirsten Hansen, Procurement Manager, Packaging, Royal Unibrew and Tomas Carlmon, Sales Manager, Petainer, meeting at the Royal Unibrew plant in Faxe.

Leading Northern European beverage producer Royal Unibrew and Petainer, have collaborated in a joint initiative to develop a best in class, lightweight PET bottle with 50% food grade post-consumer recycled PET for 500ml Pepsi branded carbonated soft drinks. The 50% inclusion level exceeds the EU’s Single Use Plastics directive target to incorporate 25% recycled plastic in PET bottles from 2025 and 30% in plastic bottles from 2030.

The PET bottle uses Petainer’s 500ml lightweight preform and incorporates 50% Cleanpet flakes to deliver a highly sustainable product and reduce carbon emissions.

The Cleanpet flakes are produced from recycled PET bottles collected locally. Using its processing and quality expertise, Petainer has been able to incorporate high levels of post-consumer recycled PET (PCR) flakes into the preform to achieve maximum performance, strength and appearance. PCR has significantly lower carbon footprint than virgin PET materials.

Royal Unibrew’s plant in Faxe Denmark has benefited from improved processability of the bottle, increasing the production line output, and reducing the amount of energy and compressed air usage in the manufacturing process. The reduction in product weight  reduces C02 emissions with 135 tonnes CO2eq, a 7.44% reduction by saving 67.2 tonnes of material per annum, further enhancing the product’s carbon footprint.

In addition to the use of more sustainable materials and operational improvements, the preform is manufactured at Petainer’s site based in Lidkӧping, Sweden, which is now powered entirely by hydroelectric power, a 100% renewable energy source.

Lidkӧping has also been awarded Gold Rating by EcoVadis, the global CSR ratings agency.   This assessment places Petainer in the top one percent of suppliers in the Manufacture of Plastics Products category and in the top one percent of all the organisations EcoVadis evaluates, with a particularly strong performance in the environmental category.

Craig Pope, European Commercial Director, Petainer, said: “From concept design to execution of the project, our cross functional teams have partnered with Royal Unibrew to develop a best in class packaging design for its carbonated soft drinks.  We are one of the largest users of PCR flake in single use containers and have the development, processing and quality expertise to produce sustainable packaging with a high level of technical performance for our customers.”

Valdas Gaurelis at Royal Unibrew commented: “As a major beverage provider we are committed to continuous improvement when it comes to the sustainability of our packaging and operations.  This new product developed in partnership with Petainer is another positive step in increasing the use of recycled content and working with suppliers with strong environmental credentials.”