Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector

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1 Case Study: UK Drinks Sector Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector Reducing water, material and packaging use in the soft drinks and fruit juice sector.

2 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 2 WRAP s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. We work with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way. Find out more at Front cover photography: [Add description or title of image.] While we have tried to make sure this is accurate, we cannot accept responsibility or be held legally responsible for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with this information being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. This material is copyrighted. You can copy it free of charge as long as the material is accurate and not used in a misleading context. You must identify the source of the material and acknowledge our copyright. You must not use material to endorse or suggest we have endorsed a commercial product or service. For more details please see our terms and conditions on our website at

3 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 3 Contents Contents... 3 Research Review... 4 Water use... 6 Waste water... 7 Organic resource... 8 Conclusions... 10

4 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 4 Research Review Soft drinks 1 production in the UK is dominated by two global giants, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) and Britvic Soft Drinks. Through the British Soft Drinks Association Sustainability Strategy both companies have reported improvements in resource efficiency. Progress has also been made by many other of the Association s member companies. Four Resource Maps have been produced covering carbonated soft drinks (one for the off-trade and one for the on-trade), still and soft drinks and fruit juices. Each map shows the key inputs for different production stages and the waste and loss streams that result. These maps are included at the end of this review. The Soft Drinks industry is now producing a Road Map to further drive its work on improving resource efficiency. This document highlights some of the hotspots of resource consumption and provides guidance for improving resource efficiency. Key opportunities 2,380 tonnes of shrink-wrap conserved equates to a sector saving of 3.4m Average yield loss of raw ingredients, within the production process is 7% Exploring collaborative opportunities with customers to prevent waste and improve supply chain efficiency Product losses Unlike the raw ingredients used for alcoholic drinks, the cost of ingredients for some soft drinks can be modest and hence production throughput and on-time delivery are often given priority over yield rates. Figure below shows that the average yield loss of raw ingredients, within the production process is 7%, with the three significant causes of yield losses being: product giveaway, set-up losses and run-down losses. 1 For the purposes of this document, the term soft drinks refers to carbonates, juice drinks and dilutable drinks (squash and cordial). Bottled water is not included in the figures, unless otherwise stated, but many of the guidance points may be relevant.

5 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 5 Fill efficiencies vary across product lines and packaging formats. This is a particular issue in packaging formats where the package is sealed prior to check-weighing, e.g. canned or cartoned drinks, since the products cannot be readily reworked. Some companies reviewed in this work often overfill across all packaging formats to ensure reworking and packaging losses are minimised. Both under- and over-fills can be caused by numerous factors, though they are mostly linked to inherent process variability. It is good practice to run trials to assess process variability (ensuring first that the check-weigher is accurate and not responsible for incorrect measuring). If variance is acceptable, the likely reason for inaccuracies may be human error and staff training may be beneficial. If variance is high, a more technical reason may be apparent, and a more detailed, technical review is required in collaboration with the equipment manufacturer. Losses at the finished goods stage are the most costly due to the embedded costs. Product runs seldom match customer order sizes exactly which could be due to a variety of causes including the complexities of the production process. As a result part pallets can be generated that are surplus to requirement. One soft drinks company surveyed within this study stated that it had agreements with its customers to place tolerance limits on orders rather than expecting exact quantities and this approach could be more widely adopted throughout the sector. Figure1: An analysis of yield losses within the soft drinks sector

6 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 6 To meet customers needs for smaller pack sizes innovation will be required across the supply chain to ensure that overall packaging use does not increase. Typically, primary packaging accounts for over 70% of all the packaging used within the drinks sector and the light-weighting of primary packaging is a well proven resource efficiency initiative. However, as in many sectors, there is typically less focus on secondary and tertiary packaging than on primary. Stretch-wrap is used across all sectors to stabilise pallet loads, yet little attention is given to efficient usage, resulting in excessive plastic consumption. Within the soft drinks sector, an estimated 2,380 tonnes of stretch wrap could be saved by improved working practices, achievable by ensuring the correct equipment is used, staff are trained and machinery is set up correctly. Based on the April 2011 price of virgin plastic film, 2,380 tonnes of wrap conserved equates to a sector saving of 3.4 million. Water use Britvic and CCE consume water at approximately 1.4 litres per litre of product, but outside of these leaders the typical water use is currently 2.3l/l (with the exception of fruit juice, which can range between 0.5-5l/l, largely depending on whether not from concentrate (NFC) or concentrate is used. Some smaller companies consumed more than three times the water used by the leaders, though best in class is not always feasible on a smaller scale. Small companies may still offer a wide product range but have to manufacture on fewer lines and with smaller production runs. This requires more frequent wash downs and lower efficiency than achieved with dedicated lines. Differentiation has led to the development of large ranges. Where these exist it is recommended that, to ensure efficiency of production, a Pareto analysis of sales (quantity of units sold) by stock keeping unit (SKU) is carried out. If this analysis shows a long tail, then a large

7 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 7 number of lower-selling SKUs are responsible for a small percentage of overall sales turn-over (e.g. the top 20 SKUs may cover 80% of sales, so any SKUs outside this group should be reviewed for their contribution to overall waste). This may indicate that there is possible scope for product rationalisation, allowing longer run times, fewer changeovers and less waste. Clean In Place (CIP) CIP is a critical use of water, with organic materials present in fruit juice in particular requiring more intense cleaning, requiring about 1-2l/l of product 2. Areas to review include: optimising plant process design; removing product and gross soiling prior to cleaning; incorporating the internal recycling of water and chemicals; staff training; carefully setting operating programmes, which coincide with the real cleaning requirements of the process; minimising detergent loss to drain; and using water-efficient spray devices. CIP systems can be complex, especially if multiple systems are in place. It is recommended that a CIP engineer visit the site to ensure current systems are working at their optimum to avoid unnecessary investment in retrofitting newer systems. Waste water Wastewater in soft drinks is a heterogeneous mixture of sugars, artificial sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, flavouring agents, carbon dioxide, bicarbonates, colouring agents, preservatives and mineral salts used in manufacturing operations, giving high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) levels. It should be treated or diluted before discharge to sewer as onsite recovery can offer value through anaerobic digestion and reducing discharge costs. 2 Industry input, 2011

8 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 8 Organic resource Fruits and vegetable juices for soft drink and fruit juice manufacture are largely imported, and there is little waste associated with blending carried out in the UK. For example, UK fruit juice manufacture is largely based on the importation of fruit juice which is either supplied in concentrated form to improve transportation efficiencies, with the water added back in the UK, or in NFC form. Figure 2: Apples for pressing. Few juices are pressed in the UK, with import of juice or concentrate used for most soft drinks consumed in the country. Image courtesy of NACM. The main exception to this is apple juice, where the fruit is grown in the UK and pressed by several companies within the UK. The 36,000 tonnes of pulpy remains, or pomace, generated during the pressing process as a by-product has value as animal feed (some 31,000 tonnes including cider pomace are used this way) or as feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. No pomace is sent to landfill. The typical yield when pressing harvested apples is around 65% (although this can be 5-10% lower if clear juice is produced). Yield rates can be improved with more advanced equipment, with some companies claiming 70% yields, though this was feasible only on a large scale, or through more expensive technology such as heat exchangers or enzyme treatment. Typically, SMEs achieve yields of between 55-65% for apples, with other fruit and vegetable yields varying, though the scales of pressing are small.

9 Packaging (Kg) per Kg of product Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 9 Figure 3: Packaging to product ratio by pack size R² = Pack size (units) Novel yield technologies are being developed, but are not yet used in the UK on any commercial scale. For example, Green Cell Technologies Dynamic Cellular Disruption (DCD ), was launched in 2010, and claims to use 100% of fruit for conversion to juice. In trials using apples, pears and grapes, GCT has obtained 4 litres of juice from 1 kg of fruit and 7 litres of juice from 1 kg oranges. They state that juices produced through the DCD process balance the fructose content and negate the need for additional sugars. Using this technology, manufacturers are able to dilute and formulate in ratios as required 3. In addition to the higher yields and advanced nutritional values, because there is zero waste (as the whole fruit is used), the manufacturer s carbon footprint is dramatically reduced. There is no need to send waste to landfill or alternative diversion routes such as animal feed. Organic residues are present in cleaning water and the wastewater which therefore has high (COD). Detail on how to recover value from this is given in the wastewater section in the document. 3 Green Cell Technologies (2010) Invest in future proofed healthy, functional foods Available at (Accessed 17/07/2011)

10 Resource efficiency in the UK soft drinks sector 10 Conclusions There are several focal points for maximising resource efficiency within the soft drinks sector in the UK and these are listed below: Improve monitoring. Metering along the production line allows for understanding of hotspots and detection of leaks. Hotspots of inefficiency can be targeted and managed. Improved CIP. Frequent reviewing and improving of CIP is essential, as developments and improvements are available. Ensure staff are trained on the details of the system, and cleaning is understood, so systems are not running at levels higher than necessary. Monitor fill efficiencies. Equipment maintenance and proper handling can reduce some fill inefficiencies and reliable fill should allow the reduction of deliberate giveaway. Effective wastewater management. Consider effluent separation to recover value in the organic content of effluent, for example, utilising for AD. Maximise value generated from organic by-product. Review value gained from pomace / organic remnants of harvest where fruit is processed within the UK. Present sustainability plan to customers. Multiple retailers have sustainability strategies and will be open to discussions that reduce waste and save money for example acceptance of part pallets, allowing tolerance limits on order size and range reviews. Secondary packaging. Consider the most efficient use of stretch wrap and other secondary packaging materials; the focus on recycling has overshadowed excessive use of resources.

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