Company sets goal to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030
The Coca-Cola Company recently announced that it is fundamentally reshaping its approach to packaging, with a global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030. This goal is the centrepiece of the company’s new packaging vision for a world without waste. The company intends to back with a multi-year investment that includes ongoing work to make packaging 100%recyclable.
This begins with the understanding that food and beverages containers are an important part of people’s modern lives but that there is much more to be done to reduce packaging waste globally. “The world has a packaging problem and like other 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,” adds Quincey.
The new global plan comes at a time when Kenya through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the National Environment Management Authority and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers PET Sub-Sector group, announced that they will be working together to develop and implement a Polythene Terephthalate (PET) take back scheme to enhance environmental awareness on management of plastic packaging from this year.
The proposed take back scheme seeks to involve all actors in the PET/Plastic value chain. In addition, this model structure will play an active role in growing the economy by creating new employment opportunities in recycling, as well as new businesses especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that will become a central part of the recycling model. Globally, the company and its bottling partners are pursuing several key goals.
Investing in the Planet and Packaging
By the year 2030, for every bottle or can the company system sells globally, it aims to take one back so it has more than one life. The company is investing its marketing dollars and skills behind this 100% collection goal to help people understand what, how and where to recycle. The Coca-Cola systems will work with local communities, industry partners, their customers and consumers to help address issues like packaging litter and marine debris.
To achieve its packaging goal, the company is continuing to work towards making all its packaging recyclable globally. In that breath, it is building better bottles, whether through more recycled content, by developing plant-based resins or by reducing the amount of plastic in each container. By 2030, the company’s system aims to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content. The goal is to set a new global standard for beverage packaging. Currently, majority of the company’s packaging is recyclable.
The Coca-Cola company will work to achieve these goals with the help of several global partners; the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy initiative, the Ocean Conservancy/Trash Free Seas Alliance and World Wildlife Fund. In the country, the company is part of very productive discussions with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, under the Kenya Association of Manufacturers PET sub-sector group who bring extensive experiences across the value chain.
As part of the PET sub-sector group, the company is working in collaboration with all stakeholders to develop a sustainable, holistic approach for the whole PET value chain to ensure efficient and effective waste management of Polythene Terephalate (PET) packaging material. This is in line with the National Solid Waste Management Strategy, the Kenya Vision 20130 (waste reduction target) and Sustainable Development Goal 121.
To this effect, it is exploring an extended producer responsibility model that is industry-driven and industry financed. Based on proven best practice, the model must encompass both collection and recycling of PET waste as well as consumer education. Speaking about the announcement locally, Kelvin Balogun, President of Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa said: “The Company has already taken great strides in reducing, reusing and recycling our packaging. We 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.”
Wrapping up the announcement, Quincey emphasized : “Bottles and cans shouldn’t harm our planet, and a litter-free world is possible. Companies like ours must be leaders. Consumers around the world care about our planet; they want and expect companies to take action. That’s exactly what we are going to do, and we invite others to join us on this critical journey.”