Britvic said it has entered into a long-term agreement with Esterform Packaging Limited for the supply of recycled plastic (rPET).

The firm said the deal represents an important milestone in its sustainable business programme, which aims a step-change reduction in the use of virgin PET in its packaging and an increase in the levels of rPET.

Under the terms of the agreement, Esterform will become Britvic’s preferred supplier of rPET in Britain and Ireland. Britvic will provide the firm with an investment support of £5 million for the construction of new rPET manufacturing facilities at Esterform’s site in Sherburn in Elmet, Leeds.

The new manufacturing technology will be powered by 100% renewable energy sources and is expected to be operational by the last quarter of 2020.

“Our partnership with Esterform is another important step forward for our business and our efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic waste,” said Trystan Farnworth, group sustainability director at Britvic.

“It provides us with a secure supply of rPET at a time when the resource is scarce in the UK, while sourcing it from this country rather than abroad has clear benefits for our carbon footprint.”

Founded in Liverpool in 1999, Esterform is the UK’s largest independent converter of PET and has supplied Britvic for 15 years.