European soft drinks industry pledges 25% recycled content by 2025

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Photo by Unesda

UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe has joined the ranks of other European associations to announce a set of voluntary measures to meet European circular economy ambitions. 

As part of the measures, the association announced on 13 Sept, 100% of soft drinks primary plastic packaging will be recyclable by 2025. 

UNESDA, which represents a range of soft beverage manufacturers – including still drinks, cordials, dilutables and energy drinks – also said that by 2025 soft drinks PET bottles will contain a minimum 25% recycled material on average. 

The European body has also committed to work towards increasing and optimising collection rates of soft drinks primary plastic packaging for recycling. UNESDA did not elaborate on how it will achieve the target. 

“Achieving circularity through optimal collection, recycling and use of recycled PET is a top priority for our industry,” explained UNESDA director general, Sigrid Ligné.  

UNESDA members, he went on to say, “want all their packaging, including plastics, to be collected and recycled and not discarded on our streets, oceans and waterways.” 

To achieve higher recyclability, UNESDA members will also work on their design – set up and managed by the industry. 

The UNESDA announcement was in response to the EU strategy for plastics in circular economy, which calls on industry associations “to come forward with voluntary pledges to boost the uptake of recycled plastics”. 

“The soft drinks sector supports growth of a secondary raw material market that makes food grade quality rPET sufficiently available, accessible and affordable. With these conditions met it is ready to go way beyond its current target of a minimum 25% recycled material on average,” the association concluded.

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