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East Kilbride MSP visits town’s Coca-Cola plant to see latest green initiative

East Kilbride MSP Collette Stevenson visited the town’s Coca-Cola plant to see the ongoing efforts to make the brand greener.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola globally, is introducing 500ml bottles made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

The site, home to a 200-strong workforce, has received £32m in investment since 2017 and operates six production lines, including for one of the largest children’s juice drink brands, Capri-Sun, which transitioned from plastic to paper straws earlier this year.

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And in a major step for the brand, the site is introducing on-the-go bottles made from the recycled plastic, with production starting late September, contributing to savings of more than 29,000 tonnes of ‘new’ non-recycled plastic across CCEP’s operations in GB every year.

The sustainability drive at the site forms part of the business’ This is Forward sustainability action plan, which targets six key social and environmental areas where the business has a significant impact, and forms a key element of CCEP’s 2040 net zero target.

East Kilbride MSP visits town's Coca-Cola plant to see latest green initiative
The MSP is given a tour of the plant

Collette told Lanarkshire Live : “I commend CCEP for its ongoing sustainability commitments, which are more important than ever as we seek to meet the Scottish Government’s target to achieve net zero emissions in Scotland by 2045.

“It’s fantastic to see how the site has evolved too – and how it continues to support the local economy. CCEP has been an important part of the business landscape in East Kilbride for more than five decades and I look forward to seeing the site prosper long into the future.”

East Kilbride MSP visits town's Coca-Cola plant to see latest green initiative
Collette Stevenson with Seamus Kerrigan, operations director at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners in EK

Seamus Kerrigan from CCEP told us: “We’ve evolved so much as a business over the past 57 years, but especially during the last 18 months.

“Work is underway on our 100 per cent recycled plastic on-the-go bottles, and the production of our paper straws for Capri-Sun.”

The company is also continuing to invest in its Scottish Apprenticeship programme each year and currently employs five apprentices in East Kilbride, with a further two starting in September 2021.

It will continue to work with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on foundation apprenticeships in association with Glasgow Kelvin College.

Stephen Moorhouse from CCEP added: “Our people are at the heart of our operations and it’s thanks to them that we’re able to produce some of the world’s most-loved brands – from right here in East Kilbride.

“Our long-term investment in our apprenticeship scheme and early careers programmes is something we’re hugely proud of and will continue to invest in for years to come.”

The EK site has been using 100 per cent renewable energy for over 10 years and has seen a 47 per cent reduction in its carbon footprint since 2010.

With the landmark COP26 climate conference taking place later this year, the business has also continued its support for the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) for Scotland, working with a wide range of stakeholders to introduce of a scheme that is as effective as possible.

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