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From single-use to ‘second lives’: How Coca-Cola’s packaging design is reducing plastic waste

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Coca-Cola, in a bid to reduce the amount of landfill and ocean-bound plastics, has embarked on an ambitious journey to collect and  recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can they sell by 2030. The company also hopes to use at least 50% recycled material in its bottles by 2025.

A 2020 survey conducted by the United Nations Environment Program tagged the Philippines as a big generator of solid waste, including plastic, in the ASEANregion—producing 14.66 million tons per year. Coca-Cola, with its decades-long journey to explore sustainable innovations for its packaging so that it relies less on single-use plastic and instead utilizes the quality of PET—the world’s most recycled plastic that produces a lighter carbon footprint and has inherent material value.

Through packaging design innovations and strategic partnerships, Coca-Cola Philippines is moving closer towards its vision of a world without waste–where they are able to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one that it sells.

“The challenge of packaging waste and plastic pollution is tremendous, but not insurmountable. At Coca-Cola, we recognize that there is a need for businesses to implement better packaging innovations to help solve the world’s growing plastic waste problem, and we know that we can help reduce the amount of new plastic we produce by constantly communicating with our consumers and partnering with like-minded organizations. Whether it’s packaging design or supporting collection and recycling, this work matters. And we are determined to maintain a sense of urgency to drive meaningful change,” says Tony del Rosario, Coca-Cola Philippines President and VP for Franchise Operations for the Asean and South Pacific Unit-East Asia Region.

Moving towards 100% Recyclable packaging

In 2018, Coca-Cola unveiled its World Without Waste vision to mark the company’s newest milestone in packaging and recycling innovation.

In the Philippines, two of Coca-Cola’s portfolio brands, Viva! and Sprite 500mL, now have packaging made of 100% recycled plastic. Currently, 50% of Coca-Cola Philippines’ packaging is in their iconic returnable and refillable glass bottles, all of which are being constantly collected, cleaned and reused.

In addition to all its packaging initiatives, sachets will be discontinued by the company’s overall production after decades, and its straws will transition from plastic to paper straws by the end of 2021 to eliminate further the hard-to-recycle materials in their portfolio.

Bold ‘Recycle Me’ message across all brands and products

Constant communication with its consumers is key in Coca-Cola’s sustainability initiatives. This month, the company made recycling more accessible and convenient by opening more than 200 collection points across the country with the help of its partner organizations, opening doors for communities to give a “second life” to Coca-Cola’s PET plastic bottles.

Through the bold “Recycle Me” campaign launched this year, the business reminds consumers to help recycle their bottles and cans after they have enjoyed the drink. The “Recycle Me” message was printed on package labels across all its brands and products in the Asean region, marking it as Coca-Cola’s largest move in Southeast Asia that uses packaging to deliver a strong recycling message.

“We cannot address the global plastic waste problem alone. Our World Without Waste vision is ambitious, but with the help of our consumers and partners, we can amplify the importance of packaging, collection and recycling in achieving our goals as a business. We all live in the same world, and it is our duty to work together toward attaining a world without waste,” Del Rosario says.

To learn more about Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste roadmap and progress, visit https://www.coca-colacompany.com/reports/world-without-waste-2020

 

 

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