Beverage firm expands recycled plastic packaging of products in PH

COCA-COLA Philippines has announced that it will transition key brands Coca-Cola Original Taste and Wilkins Pure to 100 percent recycled PET plastic packaging (excluding caps and labels) by 2023.

These new packaging formats will expand the company’s line-up of products in recycled plastic packaging in the Philippines.

In 2019, the company was the first to launch 100 percent recycled PET plastic for its Viva! bottles and shifted its Sprite 500ml to 100 percent recycled PET plastic.

Today, the company continues to utilize returnable glass bottles for approximately 50 percent of its products in the Philippines.

Coca-Cola said it will continue to redesign its PET plastic packaging by light weighting products to reduce the overall impact of its carbon footprint in the Philippines.

“At Coca-Cola, we continue to be guided by our purpose of refreshing the world and making a difference through loved brands that are produced sustainably, for a better shared future,” said Tony del Rosario, president of Coca-Cola Philippines and vice president for the East Franchise Operations of Coca-Cola Asean and South Pacific, in a virtual briefing.

“It has been four years since starting our World Without Waste journey, and we understand more than ever the importance of partnership and collective action. Together, we are making good progress in accelerating the transition to a circular economy for our packaging in the Philippines, with much more still to do.”

Recycling facility

Coca-Cola Philippines also announced that its bottle-to-bottle recycling facility is now 100 percent operational in General Trias, Cavite.

PETValue Philippines has a projected capacity of processing approximately two billion pieces of used clear PET plastic bottles.

Clear plastic bottles—regardless of brand—that are collected from partners and collection points will be recycled at PETValue Philippines.

The locally produced recycled PET resin straight from the facility will be used for Coca-Cola brands in recycled PET plastic packaging—thus creating a circular economy for the company’s packaging in the Philippines.

The facility is the result of a groundbreaking partnership between Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc.—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country–and Indorama Ventures, a global leader in packaging solutions and green technology.

“We are extremely proud of PETValue Philippines and our partnership with Indorama Ventures, whose global expertise in recycling technologies will prove to be an asset to the Philippines’ collective goals for sustainability,” said Gareth McGeown, president and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. “Sustainability is at the heart of who we are as a company, as proven by more than a century of Coca-Cola treating the Philippines as its home.

PETValue Philippines is Indorama Venture’s latest and most advanced recycled PET facility, joining a family of recycling plants across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Sanjay Ahuja, executive president of Combined PET, Indorama Ventures said: “The linear economy of the past was about ‘make, use, dispose.’ The circular economy of the future is about ‘make, use, collect, and recycle.’ A circular economy is a place where we all work together. It is a future where the government, civic society, and industries deliver sustainable solutions.”

“When you enjoy a Coke in a PET bottle and ensure it is collected and sent to PETValue for recycling, you play an active part in the sustainable future of the Philippines. The new science and technology that PETValue will use—to give old bottles new life—is a key part of this journey into the future,” said Ahuja.

Skills training

Moreover, Coca-Cola Philippines is also capacitating individuals and small businesses in the waste sector.

The company partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to create Tesda-certified skills training programs that will help develop the competencies of workers in the waste sector.

The National Solid Waste Management Training Program for a World Without Waste is currently in the process of scaling up for a nationwide implementation.

The company’s program with Plastic Bank has enabled the collection and recycling of almost 13.7 million PET plastic bottles.

As of September 2022, Coca-Cola Philippines has also established over 800 collection points for used PET bottles nationwide. These collection points help promote the segregation and collection of used PET bottles for recycling.

In addition, the company has been working with micro, small and medium enterprises to expand this network of collection points—through programs like Tapon to Ipon – Basta Klaro, Panalo! and Tindahan Extra Mile: Balik PET Bottle Program, Coca-Cola partners with traditional trade outlets such as sari-sari stores and carinderias to become collection hubs, where community members can drop off used, clear PET plastic bottles and get incentives in return.

In turn, sari-sari store and carinderia partners also earn additional income from selling collected PET plastic bottles directly to waste management companies and recyclers.

Coca-Cola Philippines said the goal is to activate a total of 2,200 collection hubs across the Philippines.

Coca-Cola’s goal of a World Without Waste has spread to 204 barangays, leading to the collection of over 119,000 kilos of waste, and empowering over 680 waste pickers nationwide.