Coca-Cola produces first recycled carbonated soft drink bottle

Coca-Cola Amatil has produced Australia’s first carbonated soft drink bottles made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

Following this development, the company announced all single-serve plastic bottles in Australia would switch to fully recycled material by the end of 2019.

Group Managing Director Alison Watkins said while 100 per cent recycled plastic had previously been used in still beverages, it had never been successfully used for carbonated drinks.

According to Ms Watkins, the pressure in a soft drink bottle is three times that of a car tyre, as such, bottles for carbonated drinks require stronger material than those for still beverages.

“That’s been an obstacle in using 100 per cent recycled materials for these types of drinks,” Ms Watkins said.

“I’m pleased to say we’ve overcome this challenge through innovation and design, and we are now the first in Australia to make 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles for carbonated beverages.”

Ms Watkins said the change to 100 per cent recycled plastic would reduce Coca-Cola’s use of virgin plastic by roughly 10,000 tonnes a year.

“Community and commercial pressure is driving a rapid take-up of recycled materials in bottling,” Ms Watkins said.

“The new 100 per cent recycled plastic bottle range supports the Coca-Cola Company’s aspiration for a world without waste, an ambition to help collect and recycle one bottle or can for each one it produces.”

The company’s Mount Franklin Still range was switched to 100% recycled plastic bottles in 2018.

Related stories:

Geopolymer concrete laid in Sydney

Geopolymer concrete, made with industrial waste from coal-fired power stations and steel manufacturing, is being used for a green roads trial in the City of Sydney.

New concrete has been laid on a busy inner-city street, replacing a 30 metre section of roadway on Wyndham Street in Alexandria.

To test the concrete’s durability, the city has laid 15 metres of traditional concrete and 15 metres of the geopolymer concrete.

Nine sensors have been positioned to monitor and compare how the geopolymer concrete performs.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said UNSW Sydney researchers and the CRC for Low Carbon Living will use trial results to create the first set of industry guidelines for geopolymer concrete.

“Local governments are responsible for maintaining local roads, so if we can purchase more environmentally sustainable materials, we can fight climate change and provide quality infrastructure for our community,” Ms Moore said.

“With 70 per cent of the concrete produced today going into pavements and footpaths, there’s great potential to further lower emissions from our operations.”

Made from fly ash and blast furnace slag, geopolymer generates 300 kilograms of CO2 per tonne of cement, compared to the 900 kilograms from traditional cement production.

“We’re continually working with concrete suppliers to reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gases emitted during the production of concrete for our local roads,” Ms Moore said.

“We already use sustainable green concrete for all our footway renewal works – which adds up to 25,000 metres squared per year.”

According to Ms Moore, the low CO2 concrete has the potential to reuse 400 million cubic tonnes of globally documented waste from the coal and steel industries.

Australian Iron and Steel Association and Ash Development Association Executive director and industry partner Craig Heidrich said the benefits of the trial will be far-reaching.

“Our collaboration with organisations such as the City of Sydney and the publication of the research findings will further demystify and promote the use of geopolymer concrete in construction,” Mr Heidrich said.

“It’s a fundamental tenet in business that you need to be constantly innovating and investing into new technologies. This trial will provide real examples of geopolymer concrete use that we can all use.”

Related stories:

Geelong installs recycled roundabout

Recycled rubber has been used for the construction of a roundabout in Geelong, a first for south western Victoria.

The innovative road design includes road resurfacing works and the installation of a right-hand turn onto Horseshoe Bend Road from Barwon heads Road, which will allow for better traffic movement.

The intersection of Barwon Heads Road and Marshalltown Road, which functions as a feed for five roads in Geelong, had been flagged for improvement by Regional Roads Victoria following incident reports and multiple near misses over the last five years.

A spokesperson for Regional Roads Victoria said to increase safety, a permanent 60 kilometre per hour speed limit has also been introduced on Barwon Heads Road when drivers are approaching the intersection.

Regional Roads Victoria’s use of recycled rubber follows a recent acceleration in the use of recycled material in roads by local councils in New South Wales and Victoria. A trial in Melbourne last year for example, saw 27 tonnes of recycled rubber used in Tyre Stewardship’s Equine Air paving product and installed on 550 square metres of the Pakenham Racing Club Tynong.

Related stories:

Coca-Cola announce major increase in recycled plastic

Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil have announced that by the end of 2019, 70 per cent of the companies’ plastic bottles will be made entirely from recycled plastic.

The announcement forms part of the Coca-Cola group’s global commitment to helping the world’s packaging problem.

The world’s largest beverage company said the change will involve products 600 millilitre and under from brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, Fuze Tea as well as 750 millilitre Pump.

Coca-Cola Australia president Vamsi Mohan Thati said the company has a responsibility to help solve the plastic waste crisis.

“This is a big commitment to recycled plastic – the largest of its kind by a beverage company in Australia – and will significantly reduce the impact of our business on the environment.”

Mr Thati said Coca-Cola have a long history of supporting environmental partners in Australia, and over the past two years have invested more than $1 million towards cleaning up marine debris, improving access to recycling in public places, and developing innovative solutions to recycle plastic waste.

The company also has a 40-year history operating South Australia’s container deposit scheme, which pays 10 cents for all eligible beverage containers returned for recycling.

Coca-Cola also operates the container scheme in the Northern Territory, and is involved in the programs in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director of Australian Beverages Peter West said the increase in the use of recycled plastic means the company will avoid using 16,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.

“We’ve heard the community message loud and clear – that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we need to do our part to reduce it nationwide,” Mr West said.

“It’s the single largest increase in recycled plastic use in our history, and our strongest step forward in reducing packaging waste and the environmental impact of our operations.”

Mr West said Amatil’s increased use of recycled plastic follows initiatives such as the elimination of plastic straws, support for cost-effective well-run container deposit schemes and the company’s support for the 2025 national packaging targets.

“Our landmark transition to use 100 per cent recycled plastic in bottles began with Mount Franklin Still Pure Australian Spring Water in 2018. Following extensive research and development, this will now roll out across other brands in bottles 600 millilitre and under, across Coca-Cola’s soft drink, water and juice products,” Mr West said.

Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil support a number of grassroots initiatives to help collect and recycle beverage containers including CitizenBlue, Keep Australia Beautiful, and Eco Barge Clean Seas.

Both companies also support The Coca-Cola Company’s 2020 global goal of reducing waste by collecting and recycling as many cans and bottles as it sells each year.

Related stories:

Downer and Adelaide deliver Australia’s first recycled road

In an Australian-first, the City of Adelaide has partnered with Downer to construct Australia’s first road made completely from recycled material.

The recycled road is made up of reclaimed asphalt pavement from local streets and recycled vegetable oil.

The asphalt mix was processed through Downer’s asphalt plant in Wingfield, before being laid on Chatham Street in the city’s south west.

Downer’s General Manager Pavements, Stuart Billing, said the event demonstrates the importance of partnerships.

“Together with City of Adelaide, we have set a new benchmark in achieving sustainable solutions, The 100 percent recycled road saves up to 65 percent CO2e emissions when mixed at a lower temperature (warm mix asphalt), compared to standard asphalt made with virgin materials,” he said.

“Our Australian-first 100 percent recycled asphalt is about 25 percent stronger than standard asphalt, which means it will be able to better resist deformation.”

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said the demonstration aligns with the councils ambition to becoming a leading green, liveable and creative city.

“The project originates from a Motion on Notice brought to Council last year, which asked the administration to seek to maximise the amount of recycled material used within our roads,” she said.

“At around the same cost as the standard process, the recycled road is cost-effective and, as we’re recycling our own materials, it has a great benefit to the environment.”

Related stories:

ACT trials recycled asphalt

The ACT is trialling asphalt made from recycled material including soft plastics, used printer toner cartridges, crushed glass and reclaimed asphalt material.

Roads Minister Chris Steel said the ACT is looking into how it could legislate a waste use requirement for new roads across the state, adding that if Australia hopes to build a circular economy all governments need to act and establish markets for the re-use of material.

“Every tonne of this innovative asphalt product will contain approximately 800 plastic bags, 300 glass bottles, 18 used printer toner cartridges and 250 kilograms of reclaimed asphalt.

“The reclaimed asphalt has been sourced from local roads, glass from the ACT’s kerbside recycling (yellow bin) system, and some of the soft plastic through the ACT Container Deposit Scheme,” Mr Steel said.

The first trial is being conducted on a roundabout on Gundaroo Drive, with the asphalt designed to be stronger and more resistant to deformation that standard material.

“The roundabout on Gundaroo Drive is a great place to trial this asphalt as it is a heavy traffic area, where vehicles are turning, and therefore putting more pressure on the road surface,” Mr Steel said.

Related stories:

Footpath trial of recycled plastics in Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie City Council has used glass sand and recycled plastics on 30 metres of footpath as part of a project trialing the use of environmentally sustainable material.

‘Greencrete’ contains crushed glass sand and polypropylene strips made from 100 per cent recycled plastic which helps reinforce the concrete in place of steel mesh.

Manager of Lake Macquarie Asset Management Helen Plummer said 50 per cent of the fine aggregate used in the concrete was manufactured with glass sand rather than virgin material.

More than 5000 tonnes of glass is collected from Lake Macquarie homes each year, with a portion being sent to a Central Coast processing plant where it is washed and crushed into sand.

“We conducted extensive testing on the concrete prior to it being poured and it is a case of so far, so good.

“We will continue to monitor the footpath in coming months to see how it holds up to everyday wear and tear, and whether it cracks or wears differently to normal concrete,” Ms Plummer said.

Lake Macquarie council began trialling the use of recycled glass sand in civil works projects last June using the material in underground drainage pits.

Related stories:

City of Fremantle uses recycled glass in road resurfacing

The City of Fremantle has used recycled glass equivalent to around 2640 glass bottles to resurface the car park at the North Fremantle Post Office.

The City of Fremantle has used recycled glass equivalent to around 2640 glass bottles to resurface the car park at the North Fremantle Post Office.

A warm asphalt mix used 10 per cent crushed glass as a substitute for traditional crushed granite aggregate, alongside recycled road base.

Related stories:

City of Fremantle Infrastructure Engineering Manager David Janssens said while recycled glass asphalt had been used on roads in the United States and Canada for many years, it’s not widely used in Australia.

“Extensive testing was undertaken by our supplier to ensure the material complied with our requirements and the glass would not come loose when cars drove over it,” Mr Janssens said.

“We also had to make sure the glass being used had no sharp edges so it was safe for people to walk on and wouldn’t damage car tyres.

“Once we get an idea of how it performs in North Fremantle we’ll consider using recycled glass in other road projects, and our suppliers are exploring the possibility of using recycled plastic and rubber in asphalt as well.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the move was part of the city’s One Planet strategy, which focuses on reducing waste and increasing recycling.

“Using recycled glass in asphalt for our roads and car parks could help to create an important local market,” Cr Pettitt said.

“And because the glass asphalt is made at a much lower temperature it also means using a lot less energy and producing less greenhouse emissions.”

Amazon invests $10M into US recycling infrastructure

Global logistics company Amazon has announced it will invest $10 million USD into a social impact investment fund to support recycling infrastructure in the United States.

The investment into Closed Loop Fund aims to increase kerbside recycling for 3 million homes around the US to make it easier for customers to recycle and develop end markets for recycled goods.

Related stories:

An estimated one million tonnes will be diverted from landfill into the recycling stream, which would eliminate the equivalent of 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxides by 2028.

Closed Loop Fund provides cities and recycling companies access to funding to build recycling programs and aims to invest $100 million USD by 2020 to create economic value for cities and build circular supply chains.

The fund aims to improve recycling for more than 18 million households and save around $60 million USD for American cities.

Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark said the investment will help build local capabilities needed to make it easier for Amazon customers and their communities to recycle.

“We are investing in Closed Loop Fund’s work because we think everyone should have access to easy, convenient kerbside recycling,” he said.

“The more we are all able to recycle, the more we can reduce our collective energy, carbon, and water footprint.”

Closed Loop Fund CEO Ron Gonen said Amazon’s investment is an example of how recycling is good business in America.

“Companies are seeing that they can meet consumer demand and reduce costs while supporting a more sustainable future and growing good jobs across the country,” he said.

“We applaud Amazon’s commitment to cut waste, and we hope their leadership drives other brands and retailers to follow suit.”

Image Credit: Amazon

Nestlé pledges to improve recycled content in EU packaging

Nestlé has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastics the company uses in some of its packaging in the European Union by 2025.

The company aims to include 25 to 50 per cent recycled materials in PET layer in laminates, caps on glass jars and tines, trays for meat products and shrink films for display trays.

Related stories:

It follows Nestlé’s pledge in April to make all of its packaging recyclable or re-useable by 2025.

The announcement is part of the voluntary pledging exercise on recycled content by the European Commission. Nestlé CEO for Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa Marco Settembri delivered the pledge in person to the European Commission.

Mr Settembri said the company is taking the first concrete steps to achieve its packaging ambitions.

“Nestlé supports the Plastics Strategy of the European Union. We share the vision that no plastic packaging ends up in the environment. Recyclable packaging, good recycling infrastructure and more use of recycled material will help us close the loop,” he said.