SOUTH AFRICA – World’s leading soft drinks maker, Coca-Cola has pledged to invest US$38 million over three years in recycling and packaging innovations across the Southern and Eastern African regions.

This is part of the company’s initiative to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment while safeguarding the planet we live in.

The announcement, which was made by Maserame Mouyeme, Director Public Affairs,Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa at the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival also targets innovations to reduce the amount of plastic in its bottles.

The funding will go towards improving recycling rates and stimulating recycling industries across Africa.

“At Coca-Cola, we believe in doing business the right way because people matter,and our planet matters too.

We acknowledge the potential harm that packaging in particular plastic can do to the environment.

So by 2030, for every can and bottle that we sell globally, we will take one back so that it has more than one life,” said Mouyeme.

The Coca Cola Company, under the World Without Waste initiative, plans to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.

This is by embracing innovations around how the packages are made and designed to recycling and re-purposing for a litter free world.

The company has also refocused on making 100% recyclable packaging and this has been through public education and partnerships with local communities, NGOs, industry peers and consumers to help make recycling easier and more accessible.

To encourage responsible consumption and eco-friendly environment, Coca-Cola has been promoting waste-free Mandela 100 Festival by encouraging collection of plastic bottles and cups to designated areas.

The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners also led more than 14 waste clean-ups across South Africa as part of its collaboration with the Global Citizen Movement, collecting thousands of bags of waste.

The company also announced the launch of a new 500ml Bonaqua PET bottle that will be made from 100% recycled PET which will be available from March 2019.

“We’re rethinking our packaging as we set out to meet the ambitious collection targets we have set,” she added.

Coca-Cola’s global goals include 100% plastic waste collection, 100% plastic recycling and make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content by 2030.