US Coca-Cola may permanently close R-PET plant

20 April 2011 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Coca-Cola has announced that it is restructuring operations at its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but a consultant said on Wednesday that the closure is likely to be more permanent.

In its statement, Coca-Cola attributed the decision to “changes in the business environment” and emphasised that the facility is “not shut down”.

“Operations have been curtailed during restructuring and while new equipment is being installed,” the statement said.

An industry consultant, however, said the company had laid off employees at the plant.

“That does not sound temporary. The technology did not perform as hoped and [Coca-Cola] stopped funding it,” the consultant said.

When the facility opened in January 2009, the joint venture between Coca-Cola and United Resource Recovery Corp (URRC) was billed as the world's largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant.

The plant was designed to have an eventual nameplate capacity of 100m lb/year (45,000 tonnes/year) of food-grade recycled PET (R-PET) plastic.

Coca-Cola said that the setback “will not impact Coca-Cola's commitment to recovering, recycling and reusing our packaging and to supporting the recycling industry”.

For more on PET visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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