Sub-metering at Amatil cuts plastic use by 50 tonnes a year

An innovative use of electricity sub-metering in bottle production has cut Coca-Cola Amatil's annual carbon emissions by 67 tonnes, reduced its power bills by $14,000 and saved 50 tonnes of virgin plastics - or nearly two semi-trailer loads a year.

An innovative use of electricity sub-metering in bottle production has cut Coca-Cola Amatil’s annual carbon emissions by 67 tonnes, reduced its power bills by $14,000 and saved 50 tonnes of virgin plastics – or nearly two semi-trailer loads a year.

Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, Mr Peter West said the company had worked with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to install electricity sub-meters for each of its resin-drying subsystems at the Eastern Creek bottling facility in Sydney.

“We’re a major user of plastic resin in bottling, mostly involving recycled plastic,” Mr West said.

“We shape this resin into bottle preforms at Eastern Creek in Sydney. The resin must be dried to a low moisture content before it’s reshaped.

“All our preform machines have dryers to dry the resin but we identified that drying time varied enormously across machines – from as low as a few hours to over 20 hours.

“By using sub-metering we could pinpoint these specific drying times and make sure the team calibrated machines to meet the need.

“We estimate this cuts our electricity use by 80 MWh of electricity a year, equivalent to 67 tonnes of carbon emissions. It also saves $14,000 in power bills and reduces resin loss from over-drying.

“As a result of lower materials loss, we’ve reduced our total plastic use by 50 tonnes a year. That’s a good commercial outcome, and a step forward for sustainability.”

Mr West said Amatil would continue to reduce plastic use across its operations with the shift to making 7 out of 10 of plastic bottles in Australia entirely from recycled materials by the end of 2019.