In January this year, The Coca-Cola Company announced its World Without Waste vision. By 2030, the company aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging worldwide. Therefore, In India too, we have started taking rapid strides to ensure that we meet our sustainable packaging goals well in time.
The company works with bottling partners and suppliers, customers, NGOs, RWAs and commercial establishments, collection agencies, and waste collectors to recover PET waste which is then recycled by authorized recyclers.
Some of our plastic circular economy initiatives are listed below.
1. Last Sunday, the Coca-Cola team was in Mumbai at the Versova Beach to support and partake in the world’s largest beach cleaning up drive by the community that was led by Afroz Shah. This was the beginning of our “Clean Shores” Journey with our partner, United Way Mumbai. Under this project, we will work to improve waste management in marine areas by collecting and recycling the plastic waste as well as organizing clean-up campaigns engaging citizens, corporates and local authorities. We will eventually scale up the activity after gaining insights and learning from the pilot beaches.
2. Our bottling partner, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Limited has already kickstarted a recycling project in Mumbai and Goa to be followed by Bhopal on the World Environment Day. The project in partnership with UNDP, Indian Centre for Plastic in the Environment (ICPE) and Stree Mukti Sangathana (NGO) focuses on creating a circular economy for plastic waste by generating value out of used plastic, thereby reducing litter. Under this project (1) current infrastructure of ICPE to recycle plastic waste will be upgraded (2) waste pickers will be brought under a formal program (3) recyclers for all 7 types of plastic waste will be tied-up (4) collaboration with Municipal corporations will be established (5) massive awareness programs on waste segregation and plastic recycling will be undertaken and (6) a full scale technology platform will be implemented to track progress and performance of the project. The project will first be piloted in 10 wards of Mumbai and if successful, the partners will discuss further scaling up of the project.
3. We are also working on Alag Karo, an initiative on better waste management practices in partnership with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Tetra Pak and NGO Saahas. Through this, we have been promoting and facilitating source segregation in residential and commercial establishments. Through our partners, we are also training waste pickers on the right way of handling trash and equipping them with the right resources to handle it better. Awareness is a key component to the success of the waste management programs and we are ensuring proper engagement with schools and communities to pave the way for a sustainable future.
4. In Pirangut, Pune, we have launched an environmental awareness and solid waste management project in association with our NGO implementation partner, Vanarai. We will work towards ensuring the recycling of dry waste to build a self-sustainable model as well as converting wet waste into compost.
5. Community sensitization on waste segregation and collection is an important aspect of the success of plastic waste management. Therefore, we have extended SMS Mission 1000 to now cover 5000 government schools with an objective to raise awareness amongst the children and teachers on proper waste management and recycling. This project is known as SMS Mission Recycling.