Coca-Cola was part of the plastic problem, now it is part of the solution
Soda giant Coca-Cola is by far the world’s largest beverage company thanks to its vast customer base and an enormous scale of production.
Every year, the Coca-Cola company produces more than 100 billion bottles of its soft drinks around the world.
Amid this mass production, the environmental ramifications have been devastating.
Most of its plastic bottles are used just once and then tossed. From there, they usually end up in the wrong places or at sea.
Now the company says it is radically rethinking how it produces its bottles and has vowed to cut the use of virgin plastic, pledging to swap it up with more recyclable stuff.
In ten years, the soda giant has an ambitious goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells.
It’s a nice idea that is surprisingly hard to achieve, but Coke wants to do it.
First, recycling on such a scale may require a re-invention of production infrastructure and some manufacturing practices.
Secondly, recycling hardly makes any economic sense as it is cheaper to manufacture a plastic bottle that to recycle a used one.
However, Coca-Cola says that recycled plastic bottles will be more competitive and will ultimately make for a better consumer proposition.
The company has also committed to increasing the amount of recyclable plastic it uses for its bottles to 100 per cent by 2025.
These bold commitments are certainly a positive for the environment that we live in, but their success will in part depend on us, the consumers.
People might not recycle because it’s easier to dump an empty bottle in the trash or simply because they don’t care.
Cognizant of this fact, Coca-Cola has been heavily investing in consumer education and will fund various plastic waste prevention programs in the region to the tune of 11 million dollars over the next three years.
In Kenya, Coca-Cola has partnered with other industry players to launch a polyethene terephthalate (PET) recycling company dubbed PETCO.
Through PETCO, Kenya has increased collection rates of PET plastic bottles, converting over 320million bottles this year alone, into various new products.
PETCO is also involved in various marketing campaigns and local events designed to show people what recycled materials can be turned into.
These initiatives are part of Coca-Cola’s global blueprint for a ‘World Without Waste’, which the company launched in early 2018 to push through with its recycling goals.