The bottling partner of the Coca-Cola company has invested €11m, including €3.5m of state aid, to gain a steady supply of high quality rPET for its fully recycled bottle portfolio


Coca-Cola HBC has announced the opening of a new recycled plastic production site in Romania. (Credit: iorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (Coca-Cola HBC) has opened a new in-house recycled plastic (rPET) production site in Romania to close the packaging loop and create a circular economy.

The bottling partner of the Coca-Cola company has invested €11m, including €3.5m of state aid in the development of the facility.

The site is expected to provide a steady supply of high quality rPET for Coca-Cola HBC Romania’s fully recycled bottle portfolio.

This development marks Romania as the inaugural market within the group to integrate three fundamental elements of circularity. This includes utilisation of 100% recycled bottles across its product range, the establishment of an in-house rPET production facility, and the imminent launch of a deposit return scheme aimed at collecting and recycling bottles and cans.

Additionally, Coca-Cola HBC Romania is said to be the third rPET decontamination facility operating across all of Coca-Cola HBC’s territories and the first beverage manufacturer in the market to manufacture rPET internally.

Coca-Cola HBC CEO Zoran Bogdanovic said: “I’m very proud of the progress we are seeing in our sustainability agenda and our mission to create a world without waste.

“At Coca-Cola HBC, our purpose is to ‘Open Up Moments that Refresh us All’ and this means that, beyond the functional refreshment that we provide, we strive to refresh our communities and the environment through the work that we do.

“We are working to produce and deliver our drinks in more sustainable ways and in packaging that has a life beyond its initial use – and Romania is a great example of how we can work collaboratively with our stakeholders and the wider industry to create a circular economy for packaging.”

In the European Union (EU) and Swiss markets of the bottling firm, 22% of the PET plastic used in 2022 came from recycled sources.

The new Romanian facility is expected to help the company in achieving its target of providing over 50% rPET use in EU and Swiss markets by the end of this year.

Coca-Cola HBC has also shifted to recycled bottle portfolios in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

The accomplishment comes one year ahead of the company’s 2025 target date set as a part of the UNESDA circular packaging goal for EU markets.

Coca-Cola HBC has plans to achieve net zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2040.