In Bierne, near Dunkerque, the Ball Packaging plant is thriving. Beverage can consumption has shot up in France, rising from 17 per person in 1994 to 76 today, and thanks to this strong growth, the Hauts-de-France plant generated sales of €65 million in 2015. “The Bierne site is at the intersection of our three largest markets: the UK, the Netherlands and Spain. Its location and three production lines make it one of our three largest production sites in Europe,” says Valéry Loth, Director of Operations South Europe at Ball Packaging. Of the 7 billion metal packaging units the company produces annually, 2 billion come from the Bierne plant. A neighboring Coca-Cola plant buys half of its output, creating an ultra-favorable ecosystem for Ball to grow its market.
Innovation and sustainability
Ball Packaging Europe invests 3% of sales in R&D, a strategy that has spawned a string of recent innovations—including a new can design and a resealable can system—and helped maintain the company’s leading position. But Ball Packaging is also taking a new direction: sustainability. Today, three out of four beverage cans are recycled. “Our materials are infinitely reusable,” says Bierne Plant Manager Jérémie Lasnon. “All of the waste we produce is recycled: the goal for all of our production sites is zero landfill waste.” And using recycled metal cuts energy consumption 95%.
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*written by NORD FRANCE INVEST