Coca-Cola’s coastal clean-ups
25th September 2020:// In recognition of International Coastal Clean-up Day on 19 September, Coca-Cola’s local bottling partners organised a series of beach clean-ups along South Africa’s coastline to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from packaging waste.
The clean-ups attracted over 269 volunteers who collected and filled 1 184 bags of waste. The clean-ups are part of The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste commitment.
“We’re excited to see so many people joining us to roll up their sleeves to help protect the country’s beautiful coastline,” says General Manager of Coca-Cola in South Africa, Luis Avellar. “It’s a reminder that we can all play our part and protect our oceans and beaches. We believe a litter-free world is possible and we are working with NGOs, governments, and communities to achieve this.”
Starting in KwaZulu-Natal and extending to the Eastern Cape, employees of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) and community members came together in clean-up crews that were 50-strong. CCBSA also sponsored and officially handed over a special Unimog off-road vehicle equipped to pull a beach rake to clear litter from beaches. Designed to easily manoeuvre in sand, the Unimog will be operated by local NGO, Clean Surf.
“Manufacturers and brands that use packaging, particularly plastic, as well as consumers, have a major responsibility to contribute to waste packaging collection,” says Velaphi Ratshefola, Managing Director, CCBSA. “We not only invest in waste management systems, but also ensure the recyclability of our products and educate consumers about what, how, and where to recycle.”
In the Western Cape, a series of clean-ups organised by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) stretched as far as Hermanus and up to Saldanha Bay, including community clean-ups in various waste hotspots.
“As a responsible business, looking after our environment is crucial to our long-term sustainability and speaks to our purpose of making a difference that matters.” Andre Cloete, Managing Director, CCPB.
The initiative is supported by Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE), Provincial governments, local municipalities, environmental organisations, businesses, schools, and communities, with the intention of promoting and uniting the world’s approach towards clean-up campaign initiatives.
The clean-ups tied in with Clean-up and Recycle Week, highlighting the importance of creating a circular economy through recycling and waste management.
As a further step towards achieving its World Without Waste goals, The Coca-Cola Company is investing in making its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025, and providing a range of packaging options to consumers, including returnable PET, returnable glass bottles and cans.
In 2019, Coca-Cola in South Africa launched the country’s first water bottle made entirely out of recycled PET plastic under the Bonaqua brand as an example of packaging that utilises a truly circular economy production. The bottler has also reduced the material used in its PET packaging by up to 25% through innovative pre-form design. It also transitioned its iconic green Sprite bottle to clear PET in 2020, to ensure greater recyclability.
CCBSA invested in production lines to roll-out a new refundable, returnable, refillable 2L PET plastic bottle. Initially piloted in the Eastern Cape, the returnable PET bottle has since been extended to include the North West, Heidelberg, the southern parts of Mpumalanga and sections of Gauteng.