New returnable glass line at Coca-Cola

The new Coca-Cola bottling line at the Mannheim plant fills 60,000 returnable glass bottles per hour. The new line fills small bottles, which are increasingly important for business success.

Coca-Cola has expanded refillable bottling at its Mannheim plant for 30 million euros. On 22 October 2019 employees ceremoniously put a new production line for small returnable glass bottles into operation. With the new line, Coca-Cola is increasing local supplies in the Rhine-Neckar region and other parts of southwestern Germany. The line fills around 60,000 returnable glass bottles per hour.

Small glass bottles important for business success

More and more consumers appreciate the special quality of a freshly opened glass bottle. “Small glass containers were very important for our business success last year. Now they are coming to the table in the Rhine-Neckar region on even shorter routes”, says plant manager Wolf-Dieter Bethlehem. The new line fills small 0.2 and 0.33 litre returnable glass bottles with various beverages, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and mezzo mix as well as sugar-free variants.

Bottle washer is the heart of the new system

Planning for the new production line took about twelve months. Coca-Cola and the supplier also examined where resources could be saved. “The bottle washer is at the heart of our new line. Here we save up to 40 percent on water and energy for each filled bottle compared to systems of previous generations. This makes our production even more sustainable,” says Bethlehem. One example is the new standby mode: If no empties are available for a short time, the bottle washer switches to an energy-saving idle state.

Coca-Cola is investing in Mannheim for the second year in a row. The site received around 50 million euros in 2018 and 2019. Only last year a new production line for beverages in returnable bottles was put into operation, the company announced. This means that almost every Coke in the Rhine-Neckar region comes from Mannheim. Mannheim is now home to one of Coca-Cola’s most technologically advanced plants in Germany. The site also supplies the Vorderpfalz, Südpfalz and Nordpfalz regions. In Mannheim, around 22 million crates of beverages were filled in 2018. The plant has three production lines. On two lines, beverages are filled into returnable bottles.

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