Coca-Cola European Partners invests in recycling start-up

COCA-COLA European Partners (CCEP) has taken what it described as an important step on its journey towards 100% rPET for its plastic bottles by investing in CuRe Technology.

CuRe Technology is a recycling start-up which seeks to provide a new lease of life for difficult to recycle plastic polyester waste. The funding from CCEP will allow CuRe to accelerate its ‘polyester rejuvenation’ technology from pilot plant to commercial readiness.

CCEP said that the investment means that it will receive the majority of output from a CuRe-licensed new-build plant. Once such a plant is operational, CCEP said that CuRe has the potential to support them in eliminating virgin oil-based PET from its PET bottles within the next decade.

The funding will help studies into the scaling of ‘enhanced’ full depolymerisation recycling technologies. CCEP said that depolymerisation recycling technologies ‘complement’ existing mechanical polymer recycling processes – with it having the potential to epicycle lower grade PET that cannot currently be recycled via mechanical recycling means.

Joe Franses, vice president of sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners said, “CuRe is an exciting technology start-up with transformational potential developed by an experienced consortium, making it an ideal investment for CCEP Ventures. Our investment in CuRe underlines our commitment to supporting innovations that have the potential to drive growth in our business and our sustainable packaging goals. It also offers us the potential to access vital rPET volume that will help to accelerate delivery  of our 100% rPET ambition for our PET bottles.”

Josse Kunst, chief commercial officer at CuRe Technology said, “Polyester is one of the world’s most reversible plastics and should not go to waste.  In the pilot plant phase of the CuRe process, we were supported with a subsidy from the European Union and the three northern provinces of the Netherlands. Now our ambition to create an energy-efficient solution for product to product polyester transformation will be accelerated because of this funding.”