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Production plant for rPET bottles

Coca-Cola HBC inaugurates new plant in Piedmont, Italy, dedicated to the production of recycled plastic bottles

3:13 min ManagementEurope
Gaglianico (BI), Italy

  • A preform from rPET made in Gaglianico saves 70% CO2 compared to a preform made from virgin PET.
  • The company celebrates the rebirth of its second Piedmont plant, transformed by the Group's biggest investment -over 30 million euros- into an innovative hub to recycle up to 30,000 tons of PET each year.

The Coca-Cola HBC Group, which with Coca-Cola HBC Italia is the main bottler of The Coca-Cola Company branded products in the country, officially inaugurated the Gaglianico plant for the production of recycled PET (rPET) bottles, in the presence of Regional Councillor Elena Chiorino, Mayor of Gaglianico Paolo Maggia, President of Confindustria Piemonte Marco Gay and President of Unione Industriale Biellese, Giovanni Vietti.

With an investment of more than 30 million euros, the Coca-Cola HBC Group's biggest investment, which adds to the more than 100 million euros in sustainability invested in the country only in the past 10 years, the plant -which had been disused for 8 years- was recovered and converted into an innovative hub able to convert up to 30,000 tons of PET per year into new 100% recycled PET preforms1 for the company's soft drinks bottling. The site, which will employ 41 employees, covers a total area of 18,000 square meters powered by 100% electricity from renewable sources, performs 4,700 quality checks per day and has, among the first in Italy and in the world, some of the most advanced technologies to date.

PET is one of the plastics for food packaging that is 100% recyclable several times and does not lose its basic properties during the recycling process, reducing the need to produce additional virgin plastic material. In addition, according to a study commissioned by the company to IFEU (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) and validated by Eco3, referring to the 0.66L format, the use of recycled PET also has positive implications in terms of CO2 emissions. Specifically, the lower energy demand of the technology installed in Gaglianico, together with the use of 100% electricity from renewable sources, lead to a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions in the production of the rPET preform, compared to the production in other plant of the same virgin PET preform.

“We want to keep investing and doing our part both to move toward a real circular economy in Italy and to contribute to the development of innovative projects in a region to which we are particularly close, despite the difficulties in our sector related to the rising cost of raw materials and energy.” - says Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Italia - “This renovated plant proves that giving companies the opportunity to do business and investment allows them to innovate and be more sustainable, as opposed to taxation that instead blocks any possibility of development."

"Today is a historic day for our territory: thanks to Coca-Cola HBC Italia for the trust and great entrepreneurial spirit shown, despite the difficulties dictated by the pandemic and taxation." - continues Elena Chiorino, Councillor for Employment Piedmont Region - "As the Piedmont Region we promote ecology, supporting all those businesses that for us already represent the first garrison to protect the environment, just as Coca-Cola HBC Italia has demonstrated by bringing employment to our territory through Agenzia Piemonte Lavoro, an instrumental body of the Region, innovation and technology. Ours is a policy to support enterprise that knows how to look to the future with a view to development and sustainability that is environmental, economic and social. Today's day is a tangible demonstration of how Piedmont is, in fact, an attractive region and able to create the conditions to bring investment and contribute to the revitalization of our territory. Our thanks go to Coca-Cola HBC Italia, which chose and believed in the Biella area: strengthened by this experience, we will continue to push on the accelerator, working hard to attract other entrepreneurial realities that can guarantee a future of innovation and growth on the economic and employment levels for our Region."

“The return of Coca-Cola HBC Italia to the Gaglianico plant represents an exciting moment of great significance as long as it will allow for the strengthening of a deep bond between the company and our community, confirming the good things that have been built over the past years on a social level." - adds Paolo Maggia, Mayor of Gaglianico - "We are proud to be able to offer the Biella area a production site with high environmental value marked by the circular economy that will be able to make a concrete contribution to the sustainable development of our nation."

The Gaglianico plant is a further confirmation of the importance of Piedmont for Coca-Cola HBC Italia, a region where it is already present with its sales force and the Roccaforte di Mondovì (CN) plant where Lurisia waters are bottled. A recent study by SDA Bocconi found that, thanks to its presence in the region, the Coca-Cola system1 generates 21 million euros (0.02% of regional GDP) for families, businesses, and the State, and creates more than 1,800 jobs, including induced employment. These numbers are destined to grow in the coming months, thanks to the new direct and indirect jobs generated by the Gaglianico plant.

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1 Preform refers to the PET bottle (unused or recycled) before it is blown into the shape by which it is commonly known 

2 The Coca-Cola System consists of the companies Coca-Cola Italia, Coca-Cola HBC Italia and Sibeg

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www.it.coca-colahellenic.com

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