On the back of a £1 million investment, the founder of anti-plastic campaigning soda brand GUNNA Drinks, has launched a brand-new aluminium bottling facility near Leicester. The 8,000sqft site is the first in the UK and Europe with the capabilities to bottle drinks in aluminium beyond water. As well as bottling GUNNA’s own lemonades, the facility will also offer white label aluminium bottling to the broader industry. This move comes in line with the booming aluminium bottle market in the US, as seen via brands such as PepsiCo’s Proud Source Water.
Launching as The Sustainable Bottling Co., this step from the business has seismic positive environmental implications, due to the new ease and availability of aluminium bottling for drinks brands across Europe. Currently around 70% of soft drinks are bottled in damaging single use plastic (SUP), whereas aluminium is infinitely recyclable, meaning that comparably The Sustainable Bottling Co.’s offering has very strong environmental credentials.
It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, with only 19.8 million recycled. Only around 10% of everyday plastic gets recycled in the UK, while the majority is either incinerated, goes to landfill or is sent abroad.
The Sustainable Bottling Co. will not only offer 470ml aluminium bottles but will have the capabilities to produce bottles from 330ml to 750ml. The offering of an aluminium bottle versus the standard 330ml can that many soft drinks are currently packaged in, also has exciting implications as it can house more liquid and mimics the footprint of a plastic bottle on shelf. This means it is an easy like-for-like switch in terms of size and stock capacity, and streamlines the industry transition away from plastic. The other key point of difference is that, as opposed to cans, aluminium bottles are resealable and reusable.
“From both a personal and professional perspective, I’m a passionate advocate of sustainability and it’s something that’s been at the heart of the GUNNA Drinks brand for the last six years,” Melvin Jay, Founder of The Sustainable Bottling Co. and GUNNA Drinks, commented. “So, it’s incredibly exciting to be launching The Sustainable Bottling Co. and be able to offer the industry access to significantly more planet-friendly bottling.
“We believe aluminium bottles are the future. We’ve put significant investment in place to bring this vision to life, and we know that sustainable packaging is something that brands, retailers and shoppers are all actively looking for. There are far-reaching needs across the FMCG industry for aluminium bottling and we can’t wait to start fulfilling these and helping to reduce the drinks sector’s reliance on harmful single use plastic bottles.
“The potential environmental ramifications here are huge and we’re excited to be able to make responsibly sourced and sustainable packaging more accessible.”