Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I case study: Packaging

24 February 2021

In a major step towards its 100% sustainable packaging by 2030 and net zero ambition, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I has unveiled a major design transformation for one of its best-selling drinks that will drive circularity and minimise waste.

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The new Ribena bottle featuring a significantly shorter sleeve has been optimised for bottle-to bottle recycling and makes Ribena the largest soft drinks brand to use bottles that are 100% bottle-to-bottle recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic.

The new bottle also demonstrates progress against the company’s goal of using less and smarter packaging. Ribena’s 500ml bottle can be more easily turned back into a bottle and will save more than 200 tonnes of plastic a year.
This is because the size of the bottle’s iconic sleeve has been reduced significantly, meaning that the bottle can now be sorted into the clear plastic waste stream – a crucial first step for a bottle wanting to be recycled and given a new lease of life, as another bottle.

The two-year undertaking involved a £1.6M investment in research and new manufacturing equipment, as well as close collaboration with the Recycling Association.

Already the first UK drinks brand to use 100% recycled plastic in its bottles (2007), Ribena’s latest milestone builds on its wider ambition to become sustainable from bush to bottle.

Examples of how Ribena already incorporates sustainability across its value chain include; delivering programmes that promote best in class farm stewardship, taking action against biodiversity loss, sustainable waste management and investing in a climate-resilient blackcurrant breeding programme.

These initiatives, along with the new bottle, are a reflection of SBF GB&I’s Growing for Good Vision, which means that as the company grows, so does its ability to help empower the wider community.

All of this caps off a big year for Ribena in which SBF GB&I invested in an industry-leading trial of on-pack paper straws, a new breed of climate-resilient blackcurrants and a major breakthrough in enzymatic plastic recycling through its parent company Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and its partner Carbios.

For more information, see the SBF GB&I website.

View Ambition 2025 Progress Report 2020

“Making sure that our bottles can be easily recycled and turned back into bottles is an important part of our journey towards full circularity and net zero emissions. Simplifying the packaging of our drinks to help consumers to recycle is just one of our many investments in making our soft drinks more sustainable. From climate-change resilient blackcurrants to promoting biodiversity on our farms, we’re working to make Ribena more sustainable from bush to bottle.”

Carl Robert

Chief Operating Officer, SBF GB&I