Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has invested €6.5m in a joint venture with APPE, France's leader in recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), to increase the rate of recycling plastic bottles in France.
The cash, together with an investment of €2.2m by APPE, will go towards expanding capacity for recycling PET suitable for food contact at APPE's Sainte-Marie-la-Blanche recycling facility by 70%, or more than 20,000t. A new line is being installed at the APPE plant.
The move will enable more manufacturers currently faced with supply restrictions to use recycled materials in their packaging. CCE said only half of PET bottles in France are recycled in the country.
The global drinks giant said the agreement followed a similar venture in Britain in 2011 and furthered plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions produced in its beverage supply chain by a third by 2020.
The Coca-Cola Company (CCC), a subsidiary of CCE, has also set a goal to recycle more packaging than it uses.
In addition to the expansion of the recycling plant, the investment will be pumped into the launch of a joint program for research and innovation in new advanced technologies for recycling, said CCE.
This latest development adds to eco-friendly initiatives from Coca-Cola, such as using 25% recycled PET in all its bottles and use of materials of plant origin up to 22.5% for 50cl PET bottles.
"Innovation and environmental responsibility are part of our culture and we are pleased to establish this cooperation unprecedented in France,” said Tristan Farabet, chief executive of CCC.
“The investment of €6.5m is in addition to €300m invested in France since 2007.”
Martin Hargreaves, managing director of APPE, said: "We are very proud of this new partnership with Coca-Cola Company, which marks a milestone in our development.”
CCC has five production sites in France and produces and distributes 90% of the company’s brands, including Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta and Minute Maid, in the country.
APPE is one of the major market leaders in the design and manufacture of preforms, bottles and PET containers for markets such as food, beverage, and health care products.
It is also the European leader in recycling PET containers and the largest producer of recycled PET resin for high quality food.