Coca-Cola Africa pledges USD38 million to recycling industries across

At the Global Citizen 100 Mandela Festival on 2 December, the Coca-Cola system pledged USD38m (more than half a billion rand) over three years to stimulate recycling industries across southern and eastern Africa. The company also announced its new packaging innovation – a PET bottle made entirely out of previously used plastic.

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Speaking at the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival, Maserame Mouyeme, director: Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa says: ‘At Coca-Cola we believe in doing business in the right way because people matter and our planet matters too. This system investment will in turn create more than 19 000 income opportunities, many of them for women.’

She adds ‘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.’

The company also announced the launch of a new 500ml Bonaqua PET bottle that will be made from 100 per cent recycled PET which will be available from March 2019. Maserame Mouyeme was on stage with one such bottle, which has a slight blue tinge.

To kick-start the drive towards responsible consumerism and eco-friendly values, the company embarked on an initiative to create a waste-free Mandela 100 Festival, led by the Bonaqua brand.

Through an innovative marketing activation, fans at the concert were encouraged to collect, drop their plastic bottles and cups at designated zones, and swop them for swag – such as cardboard speakers, to wooden sunglasses, wallets made from recycled materials and sets of bamboo straws. More than 150 000 plastic cups and bottles were collected at the concert. All of these will be used to make new Bonaqua bottles that will be on the shelves in March 2019.

As part of the Company’s global vision, World Without Waste, it plans to make all primary packaging 100 per cent recyclable and create packaging that is made from at least 50 per cent recycled material by 2030.

‘We’re rethinking our packaging as we set out to meet the ambitious collection targets we have set through our #WorldWithoutWaste strategy,’ says Mouyeme.

In the lead up to the concert The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners also led more than 14 waste clean ups across South Africa as part of its collaboration with the Global Citizen Movement, collecting thousands of bags of waste.

‘Let’s keep recycling. Let’s do our part as global citizens to create an Africa without waste,’ Mouyeme urged.