Food and drink group Princes has become one of the first major food and drink manufacturers in the UK to declare the bottles in its soft drinks and oils ranges will be made with over 50 percent recycled plastic.
Princes will start manufacturing its drinks and oils products in 51 percent RPET (recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) in May and expects to have transitioned all branded and own label products by the end of September.
Princes uses PET bottles within its market-leading brand ranges including Aqua Pura, Jucee, Napolina and Crisp ‘n Dry. It also manufactures customer own brand soft drinks and oils in PET bottles for national retailers.
Princes produces approximately seven percent of all the plastic bottles used in the UK each year and all of its PET bottles are 100% recyclable.
David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director for Princes, said: “We want to increase the recycled content of all the plastic we use and have been working for some time to implement 51 percent RPET, as it’s by far our biggest area of plastic usage. We have a strong track record, having pioneered the use of RPET back in 2009 and progressively increased its use in all the drinks we produce as availability and supply improved to the point where we attained a 25% inclusion level in all soft drinks in 2015 .We were also amongst the first to market with the innovative switch to double-strength squash in 2008 which significantly reduced the amount of plastic packaging used in these products.
“This is a significant step for not only ourselves, but the wider grocery industry too as we will reach millions of households through our supply of brands and customer own brand soft drinks and oils.
“This move is part of Princes wider work on plastics in our business. We will not commit beyond what is possible but clearly we want to reach a position of fully recycled content for all plastics as soon as we can. Recycling technology and scalability is developing all the time and if local authority collections improve and Deposit Return Schemes are successfully introduced we hope there will be an improvement in the feed stock of plastics to the recycling industry.
“We recognise that too much plastic packaging is thrown away and that much more effort needs to be made by all stakeholders to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle all types of plastic.
“Ensuring consumers know how to responsibly recycle plastic and understand their role in this, as well as taking a fresh approach to collection and UK recycling infrastructure are key steps in closing the loop. We are committed to working in partnership to achieve this, and continuing to play as significant a role as we can.”
Princes has also committed to ongoing packaging reduction projects to reduce the weight of plastics. One such project resulted in a 200 tonne reduction in the use of PET last year.