To battle the increasing number of plastic items on landfills and in the world’s oceans, beverage giant Coco-Cola plans to take one can or bottle “back”, for every bottle or can sold globally, by 2030.
“We are fundamentally reshaping our approach to packaging, with a global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of our packaging by 2030.
“The world has a packaging problem – and, like all companies, we have a responsibility to help solve it. Through our World Without Waste vision, we are investing in our planet and our packaging to help make this problem a thing of the past,” said CEO James Quincey.
The company is now investing in marketing to further inform people on what, how and where to recycle.
“We will support the collection of packaging across the industry, including bottles and cans from other companies. The Coca-Cola system will work with local communities, industry partners, our customers and consumers to help address issues like packaging litter and marine debris.”
This investment also includes ongoing work to make packaging 100% recyclable.
“We are building better bottles, whether through more recycled content, by developing plant-based resins, or by reducing the amount of plastic in each container,” it stated.
By 2030, the Coca-Cola system also aims to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content. The goal is to set a new global standard for beverage packaging.
Meanwhile, the beverage manufacturer said it would work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, The Ocean Conservancy/Trash Free Seas Alliance and the World Wide Fund for Nature to achieve its goals.
Coca-Cola will also launch efforts with new partners at regional and local level and plans to work with its key customers to motivate consumers to recycle more packaging.
In South Africa, Coca-Cola, its bottling partners and other members of the PET value chain helped to set up Petco, the PET recycling company, which in 2016 achieved a recovery and local recycling rate of 55% of post-consumer PET bottles – one of the highest in the world
Additionally, Coco-Cola’s bottlers in South Africa collectively run the biggest schools recycling programme in the country. Since its inception six years ago, R20-million has been invested in the programme, resulting in 2 034 t of waste collected. By selling recyclable waste to collectors, schools raise funds to develop their own infrastructure.
“Bottles and cans shouldn’t harm our planet and a litter-free world is possible. Companies like ours must be leaders. Consumers 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,” Quincey noted.