MOSCOW (MRC) -- UK waste management company Biffa has partnered Nestle Waters UK to produce 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) bottles for Nestle’s Buxton range of bottled water from 2021, the companies announced this week.
Nestle hopes that the partnership will enable it to significantly reduce the amount of virgin plastic in circulation and lead the shift to the use of high-quality food-grade rPET that has been recycled in the UK, rather than sourcing it from Europe.
Biffa has set a target to quadruple its plastic recycling by 2030, and the rPET supplied to Nestle Waters will come from the company’s new ?27.5m plastic recycling facility in Seaham, County Durham in the UK.
The plant has the capacity to process the equivalent of 1.3bn plastic bottles each year and will supply recycled material to Nestle Waters’ Buxton factory from 2021.
Michel Beneventi, managing director for Nestle Waters UK, said: “By working together through sharing expertise across our companies to advance PET recycling for circularity, I believe we can be a force for good, helping to create positive, long-lasting impact and change for the planet.
"Having access to a local rPET supply reduces the carbon footprint of producing, sourcing, and transporting our packaging from outside the UK and demonstrates the value that plastic drinks bottles have when they are recycled.
“Nestle Waters has ambitious commitments to sustainability, with a pledge for all its brands to be carbon neutral by 2025. This collaboration with Biffa is a big step towards helping us achieve that and making a circular system for plastics a reality."
Chris Hanlon, commercial manager at Biffa Polymers, added: “At Biffa, a key pillar of our sustainability strategy is to help build a circular economy in the UK, part of which is to help our customers develop sustainable packaging that can fit into the closed-loop recycling system that we are working to develop.
"The collaboration with Nestle Waters UK is a great example of this strategy in action, using recycled plastic to manufacture plastic bottles for resale. It demonstrates that when used correctly, plastic can have a sustainable role in modern life and we’re very much looking forward to working with Nestle Waters UK and helping it to achieve its recycling goals."
Many R-PET players in the UK and in mainland Europe are waiting to see the outcome of Brexit trade talks ahead of the 31 December 2020 deadline.
A no-deal Brexit may cause problems for R-PET entering the UK from mainland Europe if it is delayed at customs checks, which could have knock-on effects on availability from next year.
As MRC informed before, Nestle is to invest up to Swiss francs (Swfr) 2bn (USD2.1bn) to shift packaging production from virgin to recycled polymers over the next five years. The company is to source up to 2m tonnes of food-grade recycled plastics and has allocated Swfr1.5bn up to 2025 to pay a premium for those materials as part of a drive to create a viable market for those products. The company will seek operational efficiencies to keep the process revenue neutral.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 367,720 tonnes in the first six months of 2020, up by 19% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes of material in June.