Ethiopia’s beverage bottlers form plastic recycling association forging towards a circular economy

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ETHIOPIA – Ethiopian soft beverage and water bottling companies have formed an association known as Green Economy & Plastic Collection Development, to undertake recycling of plastic packaging to alleviate plastic pollution in the country and rehabilitate the environment.

According to reports by Addis Fortune, the newly formed association has 20 founding members and received accreditation from the Agency of Civil Society Organisations in mid-July.

Water bottler such as Daily, Fam, Cheers, Africa and Aqua Addis waters, as well as Moringa Soft Drink, are among the founding members.

The association is currently recruiting members from different companies including plastic bag producers and as brewers to join the movement.

“Resources aren’t going to last forever. There is a need to give back to the natural world and ensure a long-lasting flow of the resources.”

Getnet Yilkal – President of the Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturing Industry Association.

Kemal Bejiga, CEO of Fam Water, a three-year-old bottler with a daily manufacturing capacity of 2,000 bottles, chairs the newly formed association, which plans to plant trees and support the green legacy development.

This year the association along with non-members have planted over 2,000 trees at the Addis Abeba City Industrial Zone located around ICT Park, according to Getnet Yilkal, secretary-general of the new Association and president of the Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturing Industry Association.

The Association also plans to indulge in rehabilitating the resources that are used to make different products, work on recycling, advocate on environmental policy, and improve awareness of the need for environmental protection.

“Resources aren’t going to last forever,” Getnet said. “There is a need to give back to the natural world and ensure a long-lasting flow of the resources.”

The Association also plans to have plastic bottle collectors to establish a chain of disposal and transform these bottles into different products.

“We need to work on recycling plastic bottles and changing them into another product such as new plastic bottles, containers or even clothes,” said Getnet.

The Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturing Industry Association was established in February 2019 mainly to work with the government and give voice to sector challenges.

The reason for establishing a new association is to focus on green development and the responsibility of the producers to the natural resources they use, according to Ashenafi Merid, general manager of the Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturing Industry Association.

Companies across the globe are spearheading their efforts in ensuring the plastics they utilize in their manufacturing processes is reusable, recycled or composted properly in an effort to drive a circular economy.

The efforts are in line the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG 12), specifically target 12.5 on substantially reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

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It also contributes to achieving SDG 14, Life on Water, through target 14.1 on preventing and reducing marine pollution of all kinds.

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