A world without waste in Africa.

Author:Pietracci, Bruno
Position:ENVIRONMENT NOTEBOOK
 
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Plastic pollution has been wreaking havoc on the environment but the scale of the problem makes it too large for any single entity to handle effectively. The Coca Cola Company, aware that its packaging has contributed to this problem, has formed partnerships to implement successful schemes to collect and recycle waste in Southern and Eastern Africa.

It's clear that the world has a packaging problem. Plastic pollution, one of the most visible challenges of our time, is too big for any government, company or community to solve on their own. However, we believe it is one we can conquer if we work together and each take responsibility for our part in the chain.

While food and beverage packaging is an important part of our modern lives--like many companies that make products we all love--The Coca-Cola Company recognises that our packaging has contributed to this global challenge. Because our business relies on bottles and cans, we share a responsibility to help ensure the world has a more sustainable packaging system in place.

The United Nations Environment Programme recently issued a report entitled Legally Plastic: Regulatory Approaches to Controlling Single-Use Plastic. The UN conducted research on national regulatory frameworks concerning Plastic Bags, Single-use plastics and Microbeads. The 2018 analysis of 192 countries included Bans & Restrictions; Taxes & Levies; and Waste Management Measures.

While the report is helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of certain regulations in various parts of the world, it does not explore the effectiveness of Voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (VEPR). As a global business, The Coca-Cola Company operates in countries which don't have regulations or taxes in place regarding plastic packaging; however, we have taken it upon ourselves, with our bottling partners, to collect and recycle a can or bottle for every one we sell by 2030 as part of a vision called World Without Waste. And we are doing this in many parts of Southern and Eastern Africa.

We recognise that PET plastic is a big driver for the circular economy and is used in many other products besides bottles, including cars, textiles and carpets. To establish the basis for a sustainable circular economy, we're designing, collecting and partnering to enable recycling and to turn our bottles into valuable resources, which will create more jobs and drive a greener economy.

Three pillars

Our VEPR for our plastic packaging revolves around three...

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