Coca-Cola in South Africa recycled more plastic than it produced in 2018 as it envisions a World Without Waste.
Johannesburg, South Africa – In recognition of World Environment Day on 5 June, The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa is sharing an update against its global World Without Waste commitments that was shared on 19 January 2018.
In South Africa, we have reached a milestone of collecting and recycling more polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic than what was produced in the South African market.
“We collected the equivalent of 113% of the PET plastic bottles we put into the South African market last year. This is ahead of the global commitment to collect a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030,” says Luis Avellar, General Manager for the South African Franchise of Coca- Cola Southern & East Africa.”
How was this achieved in South Africa in particular? South Africa has a voluntary collection and recycling model, called the PET Recycling Company (PETCO). This voluntary model takes responsibility for recovering and recycling beverage PET plastic bottles and was set up by Coca-Cola and other like-minded industries to promote and regulate the recycling of PET plastic. PETCO drove the collection of PET plastic bottles from single digits in the early 2000s to 63% in 2017-2018.
With the announcement of its World Without Waste commitments, The Coca-Cola Company committed to fundamentally reshape its approach to packaging, with a global goal of helping to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030. The Company is backing this vision with multi-year investments across Africa.
Other commitments for a World Without Waste is to ensure that our packaging is 100% recyclable. We also aim to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content.
“Key to achieving the high collection rates is partnering with local communities, NGOs, industry and consumers to collect packaging and help ensure it doesn’t end up where it doesn’t belong”, adds Avellar.
The 100 000 tons of the PET waste collected through PETCO is recycled in South Africa, driving a successful circular economy that provides employment opportunities for 64 000 people.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, the local bottling partner to Coca-Cola, also invests in educating communities to encourage a recycling culture. In 2018, through this program, 866 schools participated in their Schools’ Recycling Programme, which has educated more than 700 000 learners on recycling.
“Like many companies that make products we all love, our packaging has contributed to the global packaging problem, and we are taking action to help solve this challenge. Coca-Cola in South Africa is leading the way for a World Without Waste”, says Avellar.