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Brothers Drinks saves 1.5 million square metres of label liner waste from incineration with the Avery Dennison and PET UK recycling scheme

PET is by far the most recycled plastic material in Europe, with the equivalent of over 66 billion bottles recycled in 2014. However, recycling siliconised PET liner is more complex and challenging, and was achieved in Europe only last year, when Avery Dennison reached out to PET UK in Scotland. Such recycling offers converters and brand owners an opportunity to move towards a more circular economy and save costs, whilst reducing environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014 Brothers Drinks was one of the first brands to join the Avery Dennison recycling scheme run in partnership with PET UK.

Brothers Drinks Co. Limited started shipping its PET liner to recycling specialist PET UK on a regular basis in July 2014. In the following 12 months, approximately 50 tons of PET liner has gone from Somerset to Scotland. This saved from incineration the waste liner from more than 1.5 million square metres of labels, and yielded enough PET resin to make almost 2 million microwave trays.

Brothers Drinks was started in 1992 by four brothers who are 14th generation cider makers. The firm produces 150 million bottles a year, employing around 110 people. Peter Faxholm, operations manager at Brothers Drinks said that as well as reducing the material going to incineration or landfill, the PET UK scheme offered additional benefits: “We estimate that we have saved around £6-8,000 by taking part in this programme. More importantly, we are able to save significant amounts of CO2 emissions by having our PET liner recycled and turned into a resource, instead of incinerated. From both business and brand value perspectives, this programme is a real winner.”

Xander van der Vlies, sustainability director for Avery Dennison, said that the PET UK recycling scheme is one part of a much wider global effort to meet Avery Dennison’s ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals, which includes a target of eliminating 70% of matrix and liner waste from our value chain: “The Materials Group is collaborating with customers across every market. For example, we have a recycling scheme with Smurfit Kappa in Germany, UK and Benelux for silicone-coated papers and a waste conversion program with Tramonto Antonio in Italy. Our work with PET UK makes an important contribution to our ongoing efforts – and we are determined to meet our 2025 Sustainability Goals and minimise environmental impacts.”

John Currie, commercial director at PET UK said that the end product from the scheme is a valuable raw material: “Instead of these PET liners going to a general waste bin, for disposal, at a cost to Brothers Drinks of approximately £120 per ton, it becomes a raw material for our plant in Dumfries to produce new PET resin granulate. This resin becomes a feedstock for the production of items such as PET staple fibre, strapping or thermoformable sheets, used for the production of microwave trays.”