Ballygowan aims for 100% recycled plastic packaging as Lucozade adds recycled labels on the bottle

Irish water brand Ballygowan Mineral Water, owned by Britvic, announced plans to switch to 100% recycled plastic bottles the same week that Lucozade’s parent company confirmed plans to add recycling prompts on packaging.

In the picture: The new bottle format Lucozade Sport

Ballygowan claims the move to fully recycled bottles, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, will reduce the use of 1,500 tons of new plastic per year.

The transition will be made possible through an investment of € 2 million (£ 1.72 million) in packaging machinery and processes at Ballygowan’s main well and plant in Newcastle West in Limerick. In addition to switching to recycled materials, the company is redesigning the bottles so that they initially contain less plastic.

Britvic, the parent company of Ballygowan, says it will also be ready to switch to 100% recycled PET (rPET) bottles for its other UK-made brands within the next 18 months. Brands covered by this commitment include Robinsons, Tango and Fruit Shoot – the latter already uses 100% rPET for “Hydro” beverage lines.

rPET for the beverage bottles is created through a partnership with Esterform Packaging Ltd. procured. Britivic funded the company with £ 5m to build an rPET manufacturing facility in North Yorkshire.

Britvic Ireland General Manager Kevin Donnelly described the new investment in Ballygowan as “an important step in reducing our impact on the planet”.


In related news, Lucozade’s parent company in the UK, Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I, has invested $ 6 million. In addition, a redesign is reducing the size of the label.

For Lucozade Sport-Beverages, 100% recycled bottles and smaller sleeves will be added this year. A recyclable alternative to the silicone valve will be added in the next year.

Transparent casings are now coming onto the market for Lucozade energy drinks, and a 50% smaller casing will be added next year.

Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I claims the changes will reduce the use of 3,500 tons of virgin plastic per year while reducing their annual carbon footprint by 9,000 tons. She also hopes that the recycling labels on the packaging will raise awareness that the bottles can be recycled and should be sorted into the clear plastic stream at UK recycling centers.

In particular, the company is working on halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. With plastics, the goal is to ensure that all packaging is “fully sustainable” by the end of this decade. The company’s definition of “completely sustainable” includes complete recyclability, high recycling rates and the greatest possible avoidance of fossil raw materials.

Sarah George

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