Coca-Cola Trials Turning Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Into Bottles
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Coca-Cola Trials Turning Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Into Bottles

Coke’s biggest European bottler is backing a new technology that makes food-grade plastic out of landfill-bound waste

By DIETER HOLGER
Tue, May 16, 2023 8:24amGrey Clock 2 min

Coca-Cola is trialing technology in Europethat turns hard-to-recycle plastic into new bottles, as part of its effort to meet its sustainability goals.

The company’s biggest European bottler, Coca-Cola Europacific Partnersis funding a startup in the Netherlands that will produce food-grade recycled plastic from plastics that usually get sent to landfill or are incinerated—such as films, trays, clothing and colored packaging. It will create an additional source of recycled material. Current supplies of recycled plastic are costly and limited, which is keeping companies hooked on abundant and cheaper oil as a key ingredient in the production of packaging.

“This new technology is critical to improve access to recycled material for bottles,” said Wouter Vermeulen, Coca-Cola’s senior director of sustainability and public policy in Europe. “The Coca-Cola system is committed to reducing our dependency on oil for producing virgin packaging materials and promoting recycling.”

Coca-Cola is aiming to boost the proportion of recycled materials that make up its packaging to 50% by 2030. The soft-drinks group has achieved around 25% so far.

The company needs its bottlers to use more recycled materials to meet its own sustainability goals“We simply do not have the necessary levels [of recycled plastic],” said Joe Franses, vice president of sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

The new process from startup CuRe Technology cleanses and partially breaks down plastics for reassembly into recycled material. Its so-called partial depolymerization method removes color from polyester, turning it into clear polyethylene terephthalate—or PET—pellets.A study commission by CuRe said its process results in roughly 65% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than oil-based new plastic production. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners invested in CuRe in 2020 and again this year.

CuRe has been sending samples to Coca-Cola in Atlanta for testing and, if it continues to meet quality standards, it is possible the recycled plastic could make its way to other markets.

“We are currently focused on scaling CuRe’s technology in the right way for use in Europe as a first priority, before looking at how this could benefit other markets,” Coca-Cola’s Mr. Vermeulen said.

By 2025, a plant is expected to produce around 25,000 metric tons of recycled plastic a year. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners will get a significant amount of that output but it will represent a fraction of its feedstock, currently around 200,000 metric tons of polyester a year in Europe. If the factory meets expectations, the bottler will build a larger plant before the end of the decade.

Packaging represents around 40% of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ carbon footprint, largely because of its use of oil-based virgin plastic. It aims to stop using oil to produce plastic bottles by 2030. Last year, almost half of its bottles were made from recycled plastic and bioplastics.

By the turn of the next decade, Mr. Franses at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners envisions technology such as CuRe’s supplying around 25% of the bottling company’s needs while traditional recycling methods will satisfy about 70%. He hopes recycled plastic supplied by CuRe’s method to be on par or not significantly more expensive than current recycled plastic, which can be 50% more costly than plastic made from oil.

“I’m not going to stand here in 2023 and say we’ve got a full road map that is going to take us there,” Mr. Franses said. “What I am really confident on is that the business has made the right investments.”



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
Mon, Jun 24, 2024 4 min

Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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