Lucozade Ribena Suntory has announced the launch of an ambitious redesign project of its Ribena bottles.
The announcement followed news revealed in January that the company is investing £13million in its Coleford factory.
The Japanese company Suntory Food and Beverage is installing a new high-speed bottle filler at its base that will produced 1.3million bottles a day. About £10million will be spent on the new equipment with a further £3million going to local contractors to build and install supporting infrastructure for the new line
The bottle redesign is the company’s latest move to ensure all its packaging is fully recyclable within the UK’s current recycling infrastructure. The manufacturer has appointed industrial design agency Seymour Powellto lead the redesign, following an in-depth agency pitch process which began in the summer of 2018.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory – one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers – has already pledged to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The 500ml Ribena bottle will be redesigned first, building on the brand’s history of environmentally-friendly initiatives.
Ten years ago, Ribena became the first UK soft drink brand to use bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) which has prevented 40,000 tonnes of additional plastic from being produced. In January 2019, the brand’s best-selling bottle was light weighted, removing 325 tonnes of plastic from production annually.
A key part of the redesign will be the reduction of the full printed sleeves that cover some of the manufacturer’s bottles. By reducing the sleeves and increasing their transparency, automated sorting machines in UK recycling centres will be better able to identify the packaging and ensure that each bottle has the optimum chance of being recycled back into plastic bottles.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory has already taken positive steps to ensure its new drinks, like Lucozade Sport Fitwater and Ribena Frusion, are designed with bottle-to-bottle recycling in mind. The latest launches from the Gloucestershire-based manufacturer have sufficiently transparent labels, meaning they can be fully recycled within the current UK recycling infrastructure. Ribena Frusion is also manufactured in 100% recycled plastic (rPET) 420ml bottles, ensuring no new plastic needs to be produced.
Michelle Norman, Director of External Affairs and Sustainability at Lucozade Ribena Suntory comments:
“Lucozade Ribena Suntory takes its sustainability commitments very seriously and we are extremely proud to be announcing this packaging redesign to ensure our brands continue to be as sustainable as possible. While we continue to make positive changes to our brands it is important that wider changes are made by companies like us, government and industry to ensure recycling rates in the UK can continue to increase.”
Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP said: “As a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, I am pleased to see Lucozade Ribena Suntory taking further proactive steps to minimise its impact on the environment. This redesign will help the reprocessing of their drinks bottles and shows that the company continues to take sustainability seriously. I look forward to seeing the results.”
Lucozade Ribena Suntory has already trialled Ooho, plastic free biodegradable packaging, to distribute Lucozade Sport to participants at sporting events and invested in behavioural change initiatives to help shift the relationship consumers have with plastic. Partnering with Hubbub, an anti-littering charity, Lucozade Ribena Suntory has worked to raise awareness and deter littering.
Additionally, the company has made several large investments to ensure its manufacturing process is as sustainable as possible. In 2010, the company invested £70 million to bring bottle production into its Gloucestershire factory, a move designed to reduce its carbon footprint. Most recently, Suntory Beverage & Food invested a further £13 million to install a new filler at the factory that will reduce the water and energy used to produce a filled bottle by 40%.
While Lucozade Ribena Suntory continues to take proactive steps forward, it is calling for additional action from government and industry to ensure the UK can become a leader in sustainability. The soft drinks producer believes consumers should be helped to change their relationship with plastic, to view it as a resource and recycle it. Crucially, more must be done to improve the UK’s existing recycling infrastructure to ensure that recyclable products can be recycled. Additionally, Lucozade Ribena Suntory is supporting the principle of a well-designed UK-wide Deposit Return Scheme that encourages and increases recycling rates.