The multinational beverage conglomerate, The Coca-Cola Company, has stated their aim of collecting and recycling the equivalent of 100% of its plastic packaging by the year 2030. This is an effort to make the global company more environmentally responsible and change its approach to packaging its products.
This major task is part of Coca-Cola’s campaign to sustain a World Without Waste – a multi-year pledge to make major changes in its policies regarding the environment, including an effort to make its packaging 100% recyclable. The company acknowledges that plastic beverage bottles and packaging are major contributors to the world’s waste and pollution.
“The world has a packaging problem and, like all companies, we have a responsibility to help solve it,” says James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “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,” he adds.
Kelvin Balogun, president of Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa, says: “The company has already taken great strides in reducing, reusing and recycling our packaging. We have worked closely with our bottling partners, local and national authorities, and recycling partners to improve the collection and local recycling rate of our cans, plastics and glass bottles.”
Coca-Cola aims for 100% plastic recycling
The Coca-Cola Company hopes that by 2030, it will recycle and reuse one bottle or can for every other one it sells – leading to less waste and renewed product life cycles. They will team up with local partners and communities in every country in which they operate to tackle plastic waste and marine litter.
Although most of their bottles are recyclable, the company has pledged to use more plant-based resins and less artificial plastic in their packaging. They first introduce their PlantBottle in 2012, which is a 100% recyclable bottle made from 30% plant-based resins – but new innovations will allow the company to make these even better.
Locally, The Coca-Cola Company partnered with several other businesses in the industry to establish PETCO. This recycling company collected and recycled 55% of the industry’s plastic bottles in 2016, which is one of the highest recovery rates in the world. Along with this initiative, The Coca-Cola Company also runs the biggest schools recycling programme in South Africa, which allows schools to sell their recyclable waste to collectors, raising funds for their own use in the process.
Other companies in South Africa, such as Ocean Basket and Pernod Ricard have joined the movement to reduce plastic waste by stopping the supply and distribution of plastic straws.