- The Coca-Cola Company (0.03 MB)
Company and bottling partners make strides toward a world without waste
To mark World Environment Day today, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, reaffirm their commitment to help create a world without waste.
World Environment Day was founded by the United Nations Environment to promote worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. This year, the UN is calling on people across the globe to help “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
In January 2018, The Coca-Cola Company launched a global goal to fundamentally reshape its approach to packaging through its World Without Waste initiative. This initiative aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030.
In 2004, Coca-Cola in South Africa co-funded and co-created the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), an industry body that works with government on behalf of the industry to increase the value of recyclable PET and achieve sustainable growth in the region’s plastic collection system. As a result of PETCO’s efforts, more than two billion PET bottles were collected and recycled in South Africa in 2017 – equating to 5.9 million bottles recycled a day. This injected R966 million into the South African economy through the manufacture of recycled end-use products and helped generate income opportunities for 64 000 South Africans.
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%.
Furthermore, we also involve communities in our recycling goals through programmes like the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa’s Schools Recycling Programme. For the company, the programme has been particularly successful, having started with 40 schools in 2011 and currently has approximately 800 schools participating. “To date, 4000 tonnes of waste has been collected with about 24231m3 landfill space saved and through the programme, 80 jobs have been created,” said Velaphi Ratshefola, Managing Director of CCBSA. Ratshefola added that 30% of the waste collected is PET.
“Our school collections initiative teaches students to reduce, reuse and recycle to create a cleaner South Africa and learners taking part in the initiative become young ambassadors for environmental stewardship, driving behavior changes in their families and communities,” said Ratshefola.
Across the continent, The Coca-Cola Company’s packaging focus on ‘design, collect and partner’ is making strides. In Uganda, the Company’s bottling partner has invested significantly in a subsidiary called Plastics Recycling Initiative (PRI), which is now the largest plastic recycling business in Uganda. They collect about 14 tons of plastic daily and empower plastic collectors to earn a living, 80% of whom were previously unemployed women. In Kenya, the Company has partnered with like-minded industries to launch their version of an industry PET Recycling Company today, 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.”