Drinks manufacturer and major Forest of Dean employer Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I has announced it will invest a further £6 million in its Coleford factory.
It comes on top of an already announced £13 million investment by the Japanese-owned business, in an energy and water-efficient bottling production line, and is more good news for the 330 staff employed in Gloucestershire.
This latest commitment is also all about the global firm’s carbon footprint, and will see a new bottle for its Lucozade drink made from a recycled plastic.
Toby McKeever, chief operating officer at SBF GB&I, the third largest branded soft drinks supplier in the UK, said: ‘This investment into our iconic Lucozade brand marks a huge step towards our 2030 sustainable plastic packaging goals and makes the UK’s biggest sports drink brand also one of the most sustainable.’
According to the firm the changes represent a saving of 3,500 tonnes of virgin plastic and 9,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, contributing towards the company’s net zero ambition.
Simon Ellin, executive officer of the Recycling Association, said the move to a 100 per cent recyclable bottle using 100 per cent recyclable material was ‘fully applaud’ and ‘market leading.
Lucozade Sport Move is expected to be sold in a 100 per cent recycled PET bottle by the end of 2021, with the bottle sleeves also reducing in size by 50 per cent.
Its Lucozade Energy Core (Orange, Original, Zero and Revive) will move to a 30 per cent recycled PET bottle by early 2022.
The significance of SBF GB&I within the UK, meant the move warranted a comment from Rebecca Pow, environment Minister, who called it ‘the sort of ambitious leadership we need from industry to ensure more materials are recycled and reused’.
Nevertheless, it perhaps comes too late for one long-standing supplier, also known for his strong environmental stance.
According to reports in May 2021, one of Prince Charles’s first decisions on taking control of the royal estates such as Sandringham was to stop gardeners growing blackcurrants for SBF GB&I’s famous Ribena drink, also made at Coleford.
Read more: £20 million development plans unveiled to boost Forest of Dean economy
By Andrew Merrell
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