Coca-Cola has pledged more than half a billion rand over three years to stimulate recycling industries across Southern and Eastern Africa.

The investment, which was announced at the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival, is expected to create more than 19 000 income opportunities, many of them for women.

The company also announced the launch of a new 500ml Bonaqua PET bottle that will be made from 100% recycled PET which will be available from March 2019.

Speaking at the event Maserame Mouyeme, Director: Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa acknowledged the harm that packaging, in particular plastic, can do to our environment.

World without waste

“At Coca-Cola we believe in doing business in the right way because people matter and our planet matters too. 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,” she explained.

As part of the Company’s global vision, World Without Waste, it plans to make all primary packaging 100% recyclable and create packaging that is made from at least 50% 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,” said Mouyeme.

Promoting responsible consumerism

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 – and all of these will be used to make new Bonaqua bottles that will be on the shelves in March 2019.

Waste clean ups

The company also embarked on more than 14 waste clean ups across South Africa in the lead up to the concert 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.