BILLIONS FOR PLASTIC BOTTLE

Coca-cola gives billions to fund plastic bottle collection

In Summary

• Coca-Cola Company releases Sh3.82 billion to drive the plastic bottle recycling initiative in Kenya for the next three years.

• Coca-Cola global World Without Waste campaign aims to collect and recycle equivalent of 100 per cent of the packaging it sells by 2030.

Used plastic bottles are seen staked before being processed at the Mr. Green plastic recycling factory in Nairobi
Used plastic bottles are seen staked before being processed at the Mr. Green plastic recycling factory in Nairobi
Image: REUTERS

Soft drinks maker Coca-Cola has given Sh3.82 billion ($38 million) to drive plastic bottle recycling initiative in Kenya for the next three years.

The funds will also support creating awareness on plastic waste pollution and accelerate the collection and recycling of PET plastic bottles in Southern, East and Central Africa.

Coca-Cola East and Central Africa Franchise manager Ahmed Rady has said the move is part of addressing the plastic pollution problem and implementation of its global World Without Waste campaign.

 

The campaign aims to collect and recycle equivalent of 100 per cent of the packaging it sells by 2030.

"We are creating value from our bottles in a bid to drive and sustain a green economy,” Rady said.

According to oceans campaigner Greenpeace, the largest beverage manufacturer produced over 110 billion throwaway plastic bottles in 2016.

The soft-drink firm is part of industry partners that formed PET Recycling Company Limited (PETCO Kenya) to self-regulate in management of post-consumer PET bottles in the country.

 

The industry is estimated to generate about 20,000 tonnes of plastic wastes per year but only 5 per cent or 1,000 tonnes of this is collected and recycled.

During the Sustainable Blue Economy conference held in Nairobi in November 2018, PETCO committed to collect and recycle 70 per cent or 14,000 tonnes of the plastic wastes in the entire country by 2025.

Coca-Cola has set to redesign bottles that are easy to recycle, which are made partly out of recycled material.

This has created opportunities by stimulating recycling industries and partnerships with others in the value chain to reduce plastic waste.

Part of this will include empowering five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s global value chain by the year 2020 under the "5 by 20" project.

“The project, Acacia Creations will have them transform Coca-Cola beverage packaging and unused telephone wire into environmentally conscious decorations such as giraffes, elephants, dinosaurs and reindeer for profit,” Rady said.

In 2018, consumer foods manufacturer Unilever East Africa signed a partnership with a Nairobi-based plant, Mr Green Africa to recycle plastic containers and cut pollution.

Unilever pumped in Sh30 million  into the deal.