- Coca-Cola and Partners Invest USD 500,000 to recover and recycle PET Bottles
- Coca-Cola and Partners Launch Large-scale USD 500,000 ‘Give Back Life’ project to recycle PET plastic bottles in Central, Uva and North-Western Provinces.
In a coordinated effort to increase the volume of PET plastic bottles collected across a wider geographical reach of the Central, Uva and North-Western Provinces, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. (CCBSL) through funding received by The Coca-Cola Foundation, and in partnership with Solidaridad Network Asia, Institute of Social Development (ISD), Nucleus Foundation (NF), The Central Provincial Council, Uva Provincial Council, North-Western Provincial Council and Eco-Spindles Pvt Ltd., has committed to improve the PET plastic collection system in over a 100 local authorities and 500 schools. This concerted move will not only improve the capacity of schools and local authorities to deal with Post-Consumed PET plastic bottles but will also promote the sustainable practice of recycling PET packaging, thereby generating income and creating livelihoods for a more circular economy and undoubtedly increase awareness and lead to improved behaviours concerning collection and recycling of PET plastics in the provinces concerned.
Coca-Cola is committed to achieving high volumes of PET recycling in Sri Lanka by focusing on PET recovery and recycling as part of its commitment towards environmental protection and societal well-being to achieve its global ‘World Without Waste’ goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its bottles and cans by 2030. By the 3 Provinces committing to recycle 100% of their PET Plastic Bottles, it is approximated that 300 MTs or 10 Million PET bottles will be recycled annually.
This massive ‘Give Back Life’ campaign for PET collection in the three provinces will drive community mobilization through its multi-stakeholder approach. The strategic partnership between the project partners and 108 local government authorities, schools and the general public will ensure that approximately 650,000 students at 531 schools have access to Collection Bins and a dedicated Waste Management App developed by Solidaridad across all three provinces. About 450 collection bins and supporting infrastructures such as 17 central collection and baling centres, will be operationalized and deployed in places that have the potential to achieve high volumes of PET plastics recovery. As part of this massive PET collection drive, approximately 650,000 students will be educated on the responsible disposal and recycling of PET through a PET education module. Training will be provided to schools and local authorities on managing PET plastic waste and drive attitudinal change of PET plastic from something of Waste to Value. This Give Back Life initiative expects to help foster a generation of responsible citizens who practice recycling as a way of life.
The project, conceptualised by Solidaridad, is the first of its kind to provide NVQ level training for 35 waste collectors and to promote them to recycling agents in the Central, Uva and North-West Provinces. Furthermore, three baling machines will be provided for each province to enhance their self-sufficiency in managing PET waste responsibly. Simultaneously, the project also drives home the fact that PET plastic is 100% recyclable and can be recycled into many other products besides bottles, including brushes, brooms, shoes, and yarn by the recycling partner, Eco Spindles Pvt. Ltd. PET plastic is any plastic with the number “1” inside the recycling logo which is generally used for water, soft drinks, cooking oil, beauty and personal care products, biscuit trays and drinking yoghurt and juices.
Local authorities will function as the primary collection nodes where collection centres and baling machines will be located, while, the ‘Smart Bins’ located at schools and busy public places will have their PET waste collected by smaller waste collectors and delivered to the large collection centres. The ‘Smart Bins’ reflect the use of technology for more efficient waste management. The recyclers will be linked to the collection centres, thereby creating an end-to-end solution. Collection centres will also be erected in large town centres such as Badulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Matale and Kurunegala. This project will maximize the use of any existing waste infrastructure and maximize transportation logistics.
Mr. Mayank Arora – Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. said, “Coca-Cola is committed to Giving Back Life to all PET plastic across Sri Lanka through practical and convenient waste management solutions at national and local levels, as is evident with this project which necessitated intensive coordination and implementation expertise. We are grateful to all project partners for their invaluable help in bringing this ambitious project to fruition and are confident that this ambitious Give Back Life initiative will deliver multiple benefits to several local communities.”
Mr. Dave Maurice – Country Manager from Solidaridad added, “Solidaridad is committed to driving sustainable development in Sri Lanka and we value the partnership with Coca-Cola to accelerate PET plastic collection and recycling initiatives through its Give Back Life initiative. We believe this 12-month project will have a far-reaching impact on the three provinces and we hope it will inspire the habit of responsible disposal of PET plastics so that they do not find their way to landfills, burnt openly or in our precious oceans.”
Dr. Anush Amarasinghe – MD/CEO, BPPL Holdings speaking at the launch event in Kandy, said. “Eco Spindles Pvt. Ltd. presently recycles over 100 Million PET bottles in Sri Lanka annually. We are proud to be involved in this initiative to recover even more PET bottles by involving such an extensive network of local government authorities and schools across three of the nine provinces in Sri Lanka. More collection will lead to increased livelihood opportunities and enhanced export revenue for the nation through the sales of our brushes, filaments and polyester yarn to over 20 countries.”
Chief Guest at the event, Mr. Gamini Rajaratne – Secretary of the Chief Ministry and Ministry of Education and Local Government – Central Province added, “Under the leadership of His Excellency the President, as Sri Lanka evolves its waste management policy, proper disposal of plastics has become a major concern to ensure it doesn’t harm the rich biodiversity of the country. We would like to thank Solidaridad Network Asia for initiating this programme and Coca-Cola for its substantial investment in supporting local councils and schools to ensure responsible PET plastic collection and recycling.”
In recent months, under the global sustainable packaging goal of a “World Without Waste,” Coca-Cola in Sri Lanka has had a renewed focus on their PET packaging lifecycle, from how bottles are designed and made, to how they’re recycled and repurposed. To this effect, Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has been ramping up the ‘Give Back Life’ project to make a deeper and wider impact on society by joining hands with key partners to instil the habit of recovering and recycling all PET plastic. Simultaneously, the project also drives home the fact that PET plastic is 100% recyclable and a big driver for the circular economy.