Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s Sustainability Journey Leads To Future-Generation Bottle Redesign

Lucozade Ribena Suntory is intensifying its sustainability programme, and is announcing the launch of an ambitious redesign project of its Ribena bottles.

This is the company’s latest move to ensure all its packaging is fully recyclable within the UK’s current recycling infrastructure. The manufacturer has appointed industrial design agency Seymour Powell to lead the redesign, following an in-depth agency pitch process which began in the summer of 2018.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory – one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers – has already pledged to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The 500ml Ribena bottle will be redesigned first, building on the brand’s rich history of environmentally-friendly initiatives.

Ten years ago, Ribena became the first UK soft drink brand to use bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) which has prevented 40,000 tonnes of additional plastic from being produced. In January 2019, the brand’s best-selling bottle was light weighted, removing 325 tonnes of plastic from production annually.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory recognises how packaging plays an integral role in communicating with consumers and believes redesigning its bottles represents a significant opportunity to mitigate its impact on the environment but also to modernise and maintain long-term relevance with consumers.

A key part of the redesign will be the reduction of the full printed sleeves that cover some of the manufacturer’s bottles. By reducing the sleeves and increasing their transparency, automated sorting machines in UK recycling centres will be better able to identify the packaging and ensure that each bottle has the optimum chance of being recycled back into plastic bottles.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory has already taken positive steps to ensure its new drinks, like Lucozade Sport Fitwater and Ribena Frusion, are designed with bottle-to-bottle recycling in mind. The latest launches from the Gloucestershire-based manufacturer have sufficiently transparent labels, meaning they can be fully recycled within the current UK recycling infrastructure. Ribena Frusion is also manufactured in 100% recycled plastic (rPET) 420ml bottles, ensuring no new plastic needs to be produced.

Michelle Norman, Director of External Affairs and Sustainability at Lucozade Ribena Suntory comments: “Lucozade Ribena Suntory takes its sustainability commitments very seriously and we are extremely proud to be announcing this packaging redesign to ensure our brands continue to be as sustainable as possible. While we continue to make positive changes to our brands it is important that wider changes are made by companies like us, government and industry to ensure recycling rates in the UK can continue to increase.”

Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP said: “As a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, I am pleased to see Lucozade Ribena Suntory taking further proactive steps to minimise its impact on the environment. This redesign will help the reprocessing of their drinks bottles, and shows that the company continues to take sustainability seriously. I look forward to seeing the results.”

This packaging redesign programme is only the latest sustainable innovation from a company that has been making changes over the last ten years to lessen its environmental impact.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory has already trialled Ooho, plastic free biodegradable packaging, to distribute Lucozade Sport to participants at sporting events and invested in behavioural change initiatives to help shift the relationship consumers have with plastic. Partnering with Hubbub, an anti-littering charity, Lucozade Ribena Suntory has worked to raise awareness and deter littering.

Additionally, the company has made several large investments to ensure its manufacturing process is as sustainable as possible. In 2010, the company invested £70 million to bring bottle production into its Gloucestershire factory, a move designed to reduce its carbon footprint. Most recently, Suntory Beverage & Food invested a further £13 million to install a new filler at the factory that will reduce the water and energy used to produce a filled bottle by 40%.

While Lucozade Ribena Suntory continues to take proactive steps forward, it is calling for additional action from government and industry to ensure the UK can become a leader in sustainability. The soft drinks producer believes consumers should be helped to change their relationship with plastic, to view it as a resource and recycle it. Crucially, more must be done to improve the UK’s existing recycling infrastructure to ensure that recyclable products can be recycled. Additionally, Lucozade Ribena Suntory is supporting the principle of a well-designed UK-wide Deposit Return Scheme that encourages and increases recycling rates.

Adrian Caroen, Seymourpowell Executive Creative Director said: “Seymourpowell is delighted to have been chosen to partner with Lucozade Ribena Suntory for this ambitious and important re-design. We believe that great design and innovation can change things for the better and play a key role in helping LRS meet its sustainability goals.”

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