Coca-cola tackles solid waste challenge
5 June 2018
COCA-COLA and its bottling partners Delta Beverages, Mutare Bottling and Schweppes, will today mark the World Environment Day in efforts to reaffirm their commitment to help create a world without waste.
The World Environment Day was founded by the United Nations Environment Programme to promote worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
This year, the UN is calling on people across the globe to help beat plastic pollution.
Coca-Cola Zimbabwe Country Manager, Noma Halimana, shared the company’s perspective on the day.
“In Zimbabwe, we have been facing a waste management problem and as a result, we formed PETRECOZIM in 2011, a beverage industry collaborative initiative created to address the post-consumer PET problem.
“This project started as a Coca-Cola System initiative (Coca-Cola Central Africa, Delta Beverages, Mutare Bottling Company and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and has yielded excellent results –with PET collections of 2018 expected to double from 7,69 percent in 2017 to 15.38 percent this year, a growth from just over a thousand tonnes to two thousand tonnes of plastic.
“The collections have been an encouraging 160 tonnes per month since January this year,” she said.
In January this year, the company launched a global goal to fundamentally reshape its approach to packaging through its ‘World Without Waste’ initiative.
This initiative was aimed to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging by 2030.
Across the continent, the company’s packaging focus on design, collect and partner is also making strides.
In South Africa for example, the bottle water brand Bonaqua is packaged in an eco-twist bottle, which uses intelligent design to enable the bottle to be easily compressed and take up less space in the recycling bin.
In Uganda, the Company’s bottling partner has invested US$1.4 million in a subsidiary called Plastics Recycling Initiative (PRI), which is now the largest plastic recycling business in Uganda, collecting about 14 tons of plastic daily, empowering plastic collectors to earn a living, 80 percent of whom were previously unemployed women.
And in Kenya, the company has partnered with like-minded industries to launch the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) today, to promote and regulate the recycling of PET material after their initial use.
Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa public affairs, communications and sustainability Director, Ms Maserame Mouyeme, also pledged her influence.
“We will be taking these examples from across the continent and learning from them to innovate and invest in a waste-free Zimbabwe.
“Bottles and cans shouldn’t harm our planet, and companies like ours must be leaders.
“Consumers in Zimbabwe 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,” she said.