The Coca-Cola Company made a recent announcement in reference to its approach to packaging. The company, in a global scale, aims to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030. This goal is the core of the organization’s new packaging vision for a World Without Waste, which the Coca-Cola system intends to back with a multi-year investment that includes ongoing work to make packaging 100% recyclable.
This begins with the understanding that food and beverage containers are an important part of people’s modern lives but that there is much more to be done to reduce packaging waste globally. “The world has a packaging problem – and, like all companies, we have a responsibility to help solve it,” said James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “Through our World Without Waste vision, we are investing in our planet and our packaging to help make this problem a thing of the past.”
The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners are pursuing several key goals:
- Investing in the planet: By 2030, for every bottle or can the Coca-Cola system sells globally, we aim to help take one back so it has more than one life. The Company is investing its marketing dollars and skills behind this 100% collection goal to help people understand what, how and where to recycle. We will support collection of packaging across the industry, including bottles and cans from other companies. The Coca-Cola system will work with local communities, industry partners, our customers, and consumers to help address issues like packaging litter and marine debris.
- Investing in packaging: To achieve its collection goal, The Coca-Cola Company is continuing to work toward making all of its packaging 100% recyclable globally. The Company is building better bottles, whether through more recycled content, by developing plant-based resins, or by reducing the amount of plastic in each container. By 2030, the Coca-Cola system also aims to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content. The goal is to set a new global standard for beverage packaging. Currently, the majority of the Company’s packaging is recyclable.
World Without Waste is the next step in the Company’s ongoing sustainability efforts, building off success in replenishing an estimated 100% of the water it uses in its final beverages. The Company achieved and exceeded its water replenishment goal in 2015, five years ahead of expectations. These efforts are part of the Company’s larger strategy to grow with conscience, by becoming a total beverage company that grows the right way.
“Bottles and cans shouldn’t harm our planet, and a litter-free world is possible,” Quincey said. “Companies like ours must be leaders. Consumers around the world care about our planet, and they want and expect companies to take action. That’s exactly what we’re going to do, and we invite others to join us on this critical journey.”
The Coca-Cola Company will work to achieve these goals with the help of several global partners: the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, The Ocean Conservancy/Trash Free Seas Alliance and World Wildlife Fund (The Cascading Materials Vision and Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance). Coca-Cola will also launch efforts with new partners at the regional and local level and plans to work with its key customers to help motivate consumers to recycle more packaging.
“We would like to encourage everyone to recycle as part of a circular economy, where plastic, glass, and aluminum are reused or repurposed as many times as possible, rather than being used once and then thrown away. We look forward to working with the industry, local communities, NGOs, government organizations, and even our critics to highlight this critical issue. When we all come together to help solve this problem, collectively we will make a bigger difference than if we simply act alone,” said Winn Everhart, President & General Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.
The Coca-Cola System in the Philippines has already started on the journey towards achieving this goal through their active participation with the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) – a multi-stakeholder coalition supported by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and composed of the top corporations in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Recently, Coca-Cola and other members of PARMS announced their commitment to work with government and non-government organizations in developing a sustainable solid waste management program in the country, starting with its plan to build a state of the art materials recovery and reprocessing facility.
This is a good development coming from the Coca-Cola Company. Solid waste is an issue, not only in the Philippines. The company has been aware of the issue and actively participates in coastal clean up. I remember participating in one of the activities back in 2011. And although beverage company is not at fault that people are throwing trash here and there, making a change in how they do business further indicates how responsive and forward-looking the Coca-Cola Compay. I hope other businesses would follow suite so we can have a world without waste. To learn more, visit Coca-Cola Journey at http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/world-without-waste.