Our long-term vision is to leverage the scale and resources of our entire system to ensure that all our packaging material is reused and recycled to minimise its environmental impact, while creating livelihood opportunities for waste collection workers

Solid waste alert: 62 million tonnes and growing

India’s rapid urbanisation has accelerated its solid waste management problem. Over 377 million urban people generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste every year, with half of it getting dumped in landfills. PET plastics account for less than 1 percent of this.

PET packaging offers many benefits– it is light, durable, economical, re-sealable. But most importantly, it is also 100 percent recyclable.

Our system recognises that while for the  PET recycling rate in India is higher than  in developed markets, there is still room for improvement. This will require engaging consumers, policy advocacy through industry bodies, building supply chain partnerships, developing renewable technologies and more. Therefore, we intend to build a system in which multiple stakeholders work together to reduce, redesign, recover, recycle and reuse packaging material.

Going circular

Our approach is aligned to circular thinking and we are committed to realising our long-term vision of utilising our significant scale and resources to contribute meaningfully to the “circular economy.”

Our work on sustainable packaging continues on multiple fronts. This includes redesigning and light-weighting our packaging keeping in mind consumer preferences while protecting the integrity of our product, supporting recycling programmes, and inspiring our consumers to recycle more.

Result: Creating  more sustainable packaging will also contribute to our overall goal of reducing the CO2 emissions associated with the “drink in your hand” initiative by 25 percent by 2020.

Recover and recycle

In India, we offer our beverages in returnable glass bottles (RGBs), aluminium cans, PET bottles and tetra packs. 30 percent of our beverage sale comes from RGBs which are completely recovered from the market (except for breakages). Our bottlers work with authorised collection agencies, NGOs, waste collectors, and key account customers to recover PET waste which is then recycled by  authorised processing agencies. We also campaign at events and festivals, leveraging our brand marketing to promote mass collection and recycling of plastic waste.

“Alag Karo – Har Din Teen Bin” 

Segregating waste at the source can improve recoverability and recycling rates of waste easily and economically. Segregated waste  can easily be sorted by waste pickers.

“Alag Karo – Har Din Teen Bin” is a source segregation project by Coca-Cola India in partnership with Saahas, Tetra Pak and GIZ. As a responsible corporate citizen, the programme furthers our commitment of working with different stakeholders to bring about wider change.

The programme will also train waste workers in handling segregated waste and providing innovative solutions for collection and handling, thereby improving their potential livelihood from waste.

The programme is a catalyst to drive community actions by empowering the citizens of Gurugram with knowledge, information and the right methods for segregating waste at source.  This s being implemented with the support of the Municipal Commissioner of Gurugram.

To learn more: click here to download our full Sustainability Update 2016/17