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Biffa partners with SBF GB&I to make Ribena bottles more recyclable

Biffa partners with SBF GB&I to make Ribena bottles more recyclable

BIFFA, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management business, has today announced a partnership with the consumer goods company, Suntory Beverage and Food GB and Ireland (SBF GB&I), to help increase the recyclability of its Ribena bottles.  

Biffa has worked in close partnership to support SBF GB&I to develop a new, more sustainable design of the classic 500ml ready-to-drink Ribena, which will mean it becomes much easier to recycle. This will be achieved by changing the labelling on the bottle from a full printed sleeve to one that covers less than 40% of the bottle, leaving the PET plastic exposed for sorting devices at recycling plants to be easily able to detect.  

As a major UK recycler, Biffa is playing a pioneering role in plastic recycling, investing significantly in UK green recycling infrastructure to ensure that PET plastic bottles, such as these Ribena bottles, can be successfully recycled into food-grade materials that are sustainable substitutes for virgin plastic.  

The Group recently opened a £27.5m state of the art recycling facility in Seaham, County Durham, which is capable of processing the equivalent of 1.3bn plastic bottles each year and through its ambitious growth plans expects to quadruple its recycling capacity by 2030. 

This latest work with SBF GB&I demonstrates Biffa’s success in supporting its customers, leveraging Biffa’s own end-to end waste management expertise and capabilities to help them develop sustainable packaging solutions. The Group has also recently joined the OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) scheme, consisting of over 570 members in the UK, aiming to apply its experience and expertise in recycling and waste management to advise other OPRL members on the development of sustainable packaging.  

Chris Hanlon, Commercial Manager Biffa Polymers commented: “Congratulations to SBF GB&I on making these important changes to its Ribena drinks bottle. By removing the coloured label the bottles are much easier to process and recycle back into plastic bottles which can then be reused.  

“Designing packaging to be recyclable from the outset is the best way to ensure a more sustainable approach to plastics and it’s good to see a leading business such as SBF GB&I instilling confidence in consumers in this way. At Biffa, helping our customers to recycle more is a fundamental part of our sustainability strategy and we have committed to unlocking £1.25bn of investment in green economy infrastructure by 2030 to help ensure that more and more waste can be successfully recycled here in the UK.” 

Carol Robert, Chief Operating Officer at SBF GB&I, said: “Making sure that our bottles can be easily recycled and turned back into bottles is an important part of our journey towards full circularity and net zero emissions. Simplifying the packaging of our drinks to help consumers to recycle is just one of our many investments in making our soft drinks more sustainable. From climate-change resilient blackcurrants to promoting biodiversity on our farms, we’re working to make Ribena more sustainable from bush to bottle.”