Global beverage producer, Coca-Cola, has committed $38-million (~R530-million) to recycling in Africa. The investment will be paid over the next three years and will help to bolster the recycling industry in Southern and Eastern Africa. Coca-Cola has also launched a new beverage bottle made from 100% recycled PET plastic.
This systematic investment will create around 19 000 jobs in the region, many of which will create employment for women. This monetary pledge aligns with The Coca-Cola Company’s global vision, called ‘World Without Waste’. The company aims to make all primary packaging entirely recyclable and from at least 50% recycled plastic by 2030.
Plastic waste is a hazard to the environment
“We acknowledge the harm that packaging, in particular plastic, can do to our environment. So as part of our World Without Waste strategy by 2030, for every bottle or can that we sell globally, we will take one back so that it has more than one life,” says the director of public affairs, communications and sustainability at Coca-Cola Southern & Eastern Africa, Maserame Mouyeme.
The multinational business has already launched a new 500ml PET bottle that is made from 100% recycled plastic. These bottles will be used for Bonaqua water, which is owned by Coca-Cola. They will be available in stores from March 2019. “Let’s keep recycling. Let’s do our part as global citizens to create an Africa without waste,” encourages Mouyeme.
Coca-Cola co-hosts waste-free concert
Coca-Cola’s Bonaqua brand co-hosted the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival, held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 2 December 2018. The concert, which hosted renowned artists such as Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Cassper Nyovest and Ed Sheeran, was a waste-free event.
Attendees were encouraged to drop their plastic drinking cups, water bottles and other waste items at designated collection points. The waste items could be swopped for merchandise such as wooden sunglasses, bamboo straws and cardboard speakers.
Over 150 000 plastic cups and bottles were collected at the event, all of which will be used to manufacture the new Bonaqua water bottles. In the weeks leading up to the concert, The Coca-Cola Company and partnering organisations led 14 waste clean-ups across South Africa. Thousands of bags of waste were removed from the environment and from the streets of various cities.
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