FrieslandCampina switches to 100% recycled PET bottles

Starting next month, FrieslandCampina will be making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from 100% recycled PET (rPET). Because a PET bottle can only be recycled if the consumer has removed the label, FrieslandCampina’s R&D team has additionally developed a new “zipper” that makes it easier to separate from the bottle.

Patrick van Baal, global director packaging development at FrieslandCampina, commented: “With the 100% rPET bottle, FrieslandCampina is taking a new step in making its packaging circular. Our ambition is to become fully circular. That is why we are increasing the recycled content of our PET bottles from 20% to 100%. This step is crucial because in order to achieve our sustainability goals, all packaging must first become recyclable or reusable.”

One of the objectives of FrieslandCampina’s sustainability programme, Nourishing a better planet, is to make the packaging portfolio fully circular and carbon neutral, and to reduce the amount of packaging materials to a minimum as well. Five years ago, FrieslandCampina made the decision to switch to PET for all its drinking bottles, because PET can potentially be made fully circular. In addition, unlike glass, it is lightweight and has a low carbon footprint.

By making all new PET bottles from old PET bottles, FrieslandCampina is able to prevent the production of nearly 1.9 million kilograms of new plastic.

The company has also planned to take major steps in recycling, renewability and a reduction in the use of fossil raw materials for packaging. This drove FrieslandCampina to establish national partnerships such as the European and the Dutch Plastic Pact, and the new plastics global commitment of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.