Manila, Philippines—Food and beverage packaging has always played an important role in our everyday lives. A variety of packaging options allow us to safely consume food, extend the shelf life of perishable goods, and easily transport drinks, including clean drinking water, in times of need.
Recyclable bottles and cans can benefit society if the empty containers are seen as having value and not treated as trash. When designed properly and disposed of responsibly and collected, bottles and cans can be recycled into something new. However, this is not easy. Companies have to do their part by making sure their packaging is actually recyclable. People have to do their part by actually recycling.
Today, many companies and brands are designing their packages with recyclability in mind and working hard to boost rates of collection and recycling. And with technological advancements increasing by the decade, recyclers have found more efficient and faster ways to recycle PET plastic packaging and give the empty containers a second life.
In 2018, Coca-Cola announced its global vision of a World Without Waste including the ambitious goals of helping collect a bottle or can for everyone it sells by 2030 and using at least 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2025.
In the Philippines, Coca-Cola is making progress against these goals. In 2019, the beverage company introduced the Philippines’ first beverage bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material (excluding the cap and label) with the launch of its Viva! Mineralized water and Sprite 500ml clear bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.
A “100% recycled plastic bottle” is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. The plastic material has been debaled, flaked, melted & extruded, super cleaned.
The journey begins when the bottle leaves the shelves. Once the drink is enjoyed, consumers can choose to separate and recycle their empty bottles by dropping them in recycling bins, communal drop-off points scattered around the community. Or they can give the bottles to their community collector, also known as mambobote-dyaryo.
Further segregation of recyclable plastic bottles from non-recyclable materials comes next. Once sorted, the bottles are diverted to a recycling facility so they can be processed and recycled.
Inside a recycling facility, the process is rigorous. After a thorough cleaning, the bottle is shredded into flakes, pelletized, and extruded before it is transformed back to its original bottle form. It then begins life again as a new bottle.
While recycling is only one of many solutions to help address the global plastic waste problem, it’s significant contribution towards reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment cannot be underestimated. Good collection and recycling infrastructure helps to create a circular economy.
Coca-Cola Philippines fully supports the idea of accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the country. The company is involved in many local partnerships that empower households and communities with information, resources and technology on proper waste segregation. Coca-Cola is also investing in the recycling industry sector and encouraging more organizations to follow suit.
In the first half of 2022, Coca-Cola will be taking another step forward with the opening of PETValue Philippines, a pioneering PET plastic bottle recycling facility located in General Trias, Cavite. The establishment of PETValue – a joint venture with Indorama – is expected to help spur domestic recycling capabilities and the development of a circular economy for PET bottles. It will also provide job opportunities and contribute to the local economy.
“The fact is that there continues to be too much plastic in the world ending up where it shouldn’t be. Nobody wants to see that. At Coca-Cola, we’re fully committed to make our vision of a World Without Waste come to life. This requires continued dedication and tangible efforts from us working in close partnership with industry, recyclers, local government and other organizations, even consumers,” said Tony Del Rosario, Coca-Cola Philippines President and VP for Franchise Operations for the ASEAN and South Pacific Unit-East Asia Region.
To learn more about Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste roadmap and progress, visit https://www.coca-colacompany.com/reports/world-without-waste-2020