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In the lead up to the most talked about event of the year in South Africa – the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 Festival, as many as 360 volunteers collected 8 000 bags of litter in Soweto during the last of many clean-up activities across South Africa.

Coca-Cola Africa, its bottling partner, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), the City of Johannesburg and Global Citizen came together to work towards making South Africa waste-free.

“We have a global vision, World Without Waste, set by our CEO at the beginning of the year to collect and recycle every bottle and can we put in the marketplace by 2030,” said Head of Communications - Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa, Camilla Osborne. “Of course, we wouldn’t be able to do it without working very closely with our bottling partners, municipalities and other like-minded organisations, such as Global Citizen.”

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It’s all part of The Coca-Cola Company’s drive towards encouraging responsible consumerism and eco-friendly values in collaboration with others.

Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba said the benefits go further: “As much as it’s about cleaning the environment, it’s also about attracting investment into Johannesburg.  The way you grow an economy is by keeping cities clean and safe which is what this programme is all about.”

The clean-up is one of many around the country that Coca-Cola Africa and its bottling partners have organised this year in collaboration with Global Citizen to inspire people to take action to meet global sustainable development goals. Global Citizen is a movement that seeks to inspire people to help end extreme poverty by 2030 as part of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, including caring for the environment.

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“We believe at the heart of community service is the idea that we all have to contribute to make the world a better place,” added Global Citizen CEO, Hugh Evans. “We want to celebrate the legacy of Tata Madiba which is his unfinished business of a world without extreme poverty by 2030. 

Volunteers on the day also got a sneak peek of how Bonaqua, the headlining brand for ensuring the Festival is waste-free, is encouraging people to recycle.  They got to test out Bonaqua’s concept of ‘collect, drop and swop’.  The activation was rolled out on a bigger scale at the concert – with designated zones to encourage fans to collect their PET bottles, drop them in recycling zones and swop them for ‘swag’ - such as cardboard speakers, wooden sunglasses, wallets made from recycled materials and sets of bamboo straws.

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“People loved the idea of swopping their PET bottles for other useful items – it shows that recycled waste has value,” Pirtunia Dhlamini, CCBSA Public Affairs and Communications Manager for Gauteng Region. “Most were surprised to learn that those bottles would also be recycled to make new bottles, giving them a second life.”

A new Bonaqua bottle, to be launched early in 2019 will be made from 100% recycled PET – no virgin PET resin will be used in the creation of these bottles. 

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