USA – The Coca-Cola company, in collaboration with its bottling partners, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages has made a re-commitment to tackle the problem of waste pollution.
Marking the World Environment Day, the company highlighted its progress in combatting plastic pollution over the years.
Through its ‘World Without Waste’ initiative which it launched in January this year, the company aims to collect and recycle the bottle or can for each one sold by 2030 in a move to reshaping its approach to packaging.
To increase the value of recyclable PET and achieve sustainable growth in the region’s plastic collection system, Coca-Cola South Africa with the government funded the creation of PET Recycling Company (PETCO) in 2004.
This initiative in formed in collaboration with the government is credited for collection and recycling of more than two billion PET bottles in South Africa in 2017.
According to FoodIngredientsFirst, increase in recycling the efforts injected US$77 million into the South African economy.
As a result, the country has seen an increase in recycling rates from single digits in 2000 to 65% in 2017 – rates close to those of Europe and which exceed United States levels by more than 20%.
In Uganda, the company’s bottling partner has invested in a subsidiary called Plastics Recycling Industries (PRI), which is now the largest plastic recycling business in Uganda.
PRI, run by Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) collects about 14 tons of plastic daily and empower plastic collectors to earn a living and in 2017 alone, it is reported to have collected more than 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste, according to Bigeye.ug.
In Kenya, the company has partnered with like-minded industries to launch their version of an industry PET Recycling Company to promote and regulate the recycling of PET material after their initial use.
“We will be taking these examples from across the continent and learning from them to innovate and invest in a waste-free South Africa,” said Maserame Mouyeme, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director for Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa.
“Bottles and cans shouldn’t harm our planet, and companies like ours must be leaders.
Consumers in South Africa and around the world care about our planet, and they want and expect companies to take action.
That’s exactly what we’re going to do, and we invite others to join us on this critical journey.”