From Soweto to Muizenberg, Coca-Cola’s bottling partners teamed up with communities, NGOs, schools, municipalities, as well as the South African Police Service (SAPS) during September to collect over 2000 bags of waste as part of its commitment to creating a waste-free South Africa.

Coinciding with Clean up and Recycle Week 2018, more than 1000 volunteers including teachers, learners and employees took action in 14 clean-ups across the country. Bottlers Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages partnered with Plastics SA to make a difference and clean up South Africa. The campaign is in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment of a World Without Waste (WWW) - a vision to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can it sells by 2030.

This year, in Durban, 572 volunteers collected 1265 bags of waste making it the biggest CCBSA coastal clean up; while in East London 66 employees collected 118 bags of waste. At the Soweto Clean Up, two street trucks carried away nearly 2 tonnes of collected waste!

In the Western Cape, as part of International Coastal Clean up Day, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages led the Muizenberg beach clean-up which saw 140 volunteers collect over 100 bags of waste.

“To demonstrate our commitment to investing in our planet, we’re working to bring people together to help us collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell,” says Tshidi Ramogase, Public Affairs and Communications Director at CCBSA. “These clean ups help shift attitudes towards littering and recycling, encourage environmentally responsible waste-management habits and motivate South African communities to recycle.”

Not only is Coca-Cola using its marketing muscle to help educate the public on what, how and where to recycle, but is investing in improving local recycling systems and driving policy change that supports a truly circular economy.

Durban, Day 1: 146 employees collected 265 bags of waste.

More than 10 years ago, Coca-Cola funded and co-created the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), an industry body that promotes and regulates the recycling of PET material after use. PETCO also partners with recyclers to create new products made from disposed PET material.

Through these types of partnerships, last year, the South African plastic industry recycled a record 2.15 billion PET plastic bottles. The country has seen an increase in PET recycling from single digits in 2000 to 65% in 2017, close to European rates and rates that exceed United States recycling by more than 20%. This has created 64 000 income-generating opportunities for waste pickers, collectors and recyclers. The 93 235 tonnes of collected PET also saved 578 000m3 of landfill space and 139 000 tonnes of carbon.