M a r k e t N e w s

Soft drink company Coca Cola launches plastic recycling project

Posted on : Wednesday, 29th October 2014

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola East and Central Africa is leading a new initiative to help tackle plastic bottle wastes with a recycling project already running in Kenya.

Through an industry coalition with plastic bottle manufacturer Safepak Ltd and Highlands Mineral Water Company, the soft drink manufacturer recently launched the recycling project in Kenya with a view to replicating it in the region.
In Kenya, the three companies aim to recycle 70 per cent of plastic bottles they release to consumers by 2015.
They have formed PET Recycling Company of Kenya (PETCO) to manage the project.
The recycling company will be paying millions of shillings to Greenplast International, a recycling plant in Kikuyu Town on the outskirts of Nairobi, to crush the collected plastics for export to China.
PETCO will establish bottle collection points all over the region where waste collectors will deliver used bottles for sale before the bottles are taken for crushing.
According to Coca-Cola East and Central Africa public affairs manager Bob Okello, the company pays Greenplast, the crusher, Sh28,000 (US$350) for every metric ton of recycled bottles in Kenya.
China, the largest importer of recycled plastic bottles, uses the material for making new products such as body wear, duvet stuffing and apparels. Recycled plastics are also used to make polyester carpets for cars and ceiling insulation.
In Kenya, the project could appease the government and environmentalists who have been scratching hard for ways to minimise plastic wastes, even including increasing duties on the product.
Mr Okello, told The East African that it was time for the companies to be seen to be doing something about the plastic menace.
 He said the aim was not only to remove plastic bottle wastes from the streets.
It was also a way to avert any possible tax increase on the bottles – an important packaging product for the company’s popular drinks – similar to the one Kenya slapped on plastic bags in 2007.
However, industry players who attended the launch in Nairobi also spoke of how plastics were here to stay, emphasising the need to recycle them.
“We have made a commitment to ensure the sustainable recycling of our PET (plastics) packaging,” said Mr Peter Njonjo, Coca-Cola Country Manager.
“Ultimately, we envision a country in which our packaging is no longer seen as waste, but as a valuable resource for future use”.

Source : www.theeastafrican.co.ke
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