AFRICA – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has committed a total of 10 million Birr (US$185,579) in subsidies to its plastic beverage bottle collectors in Addis Ababa to boost polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) bottle collection rates.

The subsidy pilot project, which will be implemented for one year in two phases, will support 30 collectors and will be based on their monthly performance.

CCBA in Ethiopia plans to subsidize 1,000 Birr (US$18.56) for every 1,000 Kg PET collected, on the condition that they hit the minimum collection rate for the month set in the agreement.

Daryl Wilson, CCBA in Ethiopia Managing Director, said the beverage giant is committed to investing in the planet and helping make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.

The new initiative aims to strengthen The Coca-Cola Company’s global initiative dubbed World Without Waste, which is a plan to collect and recycle 100% of the packaging the group produces by 2030.

CCBA in Ethiopia has also set up PET collection centers across the country as well as trained and empowered more than 15,000 women PET collectors, elevating its sustainability capabilities.

To elevate its efforts in sustainability, CCBA has brought the PETCO South Africa model to Ethiopia and established PETCO Ethiopia, mobilizing other industry players and providing US$150,000 in initial funding.

During the launch of the subsidy pilot project, the Addis Ababa Cleansing Agency General Director Dr. Eshetu Lema said: “Plastic bottle collection is one of the focus points for our agency. Beyond cleaning the city, plastic bottle gives the collectors a sustainable income. We admire the initiatives that CCBA has undertaken in Ethiopia, for example, changing the green Sprite bottle to clear, which makes it easier to recycle. “

“Their initiatives are positively impacting PET collection rates, the collectors, and the circular economy in general. Today’s subsidy launch is another milestone in making Ethiopia clean and the support for the PET collection associations is meaningful. We commend this kind of assistance from the private sector and we will continue to work with the CCBA in Ethiopia.”

Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda partners with Stanbic Bank to reduce plastic waste

In Uganda, through an initiative called Plastic Recycling Industries, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) has joined forces with Stanbic Bank Uganda to reduce plastic waste in the environment, anchoring the world without waste goal. 

In the partnership, Stanbic Bank will identify designated collection spaces that will serve as plastic waste collection centers around Uganda, ensure appropriate security and maintenance of the collection centers, and provide appropriate messaging to the public regarding environmental protection. 

Last year, the National Research Repository of Uganda (NRU) indicated that imports and use of packaging and plastics in Uganda have increased six-fold within the last three years.

However, through initiatives like this one that it is in with Stanbic Bank Uganda, CCBU aims to advance its role in delivering on Coca-Cola’s global ambition of making 25% of the packaging reusable by 2030, collecting for recycling the equivalent of 100% of packaging sold, and also creating packaging that is at least 50% recycled material by 2030. 

For 2022, Kirunda Magoola, the CCBU Public Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability Director noted that the company was able to attain 85% of its collection target of PET waste wherever they could find. He added that the company intends to make all consumer packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.

Circular economy for plastic waste will prevent needless plastic pollution and stimulate entrepreneurship

The launch of the sustainability initiative follows a call for enabling a regulatory framework that would facilitate the movement of materials across borders to create the economies of scale needed to unlock greater investment in recycling facilities by Diana Sibanda, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) Head of Sustainability, at a Southern African Development Community (SADC) conference on the circular economy in Lusaka, Zambia.

Sibanda said there was a need for SADC governments to work together to support the development of an effective circular economy that made recycling viable based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model.

With the EPR model, producers pay a fee to a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), such as PETCO in South Africa, which then uses the funds to establish the collection and recycling value chain by building capability and capacity, supporting the collection and stimulating demand for recycled material. 

The model has been extremely successful since PETCO was established in South Africa, Sibanda highlighted. Note the model has also been adopted in Ethiopia.

She explained that there has been a growth in the collection and recycling from 9,000 tonnes of PET in 2005 to more than 92,000 tonnes in 2021, and an average price paid of around 50c/kg of PET in 2005 to around R3.80/kg in 2021, showing an increase in both volume and value. 

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