Coke adds life in eco-friendly bottles

In a move to avoid energy wastage, it is producing recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles made partially from plants.

The packaging, with the trademark name PlantBottle™, comprises 30% of plant material and has a lighter footprint on the environment because it does not use nonrenewable resources.

By the end of 2010, more than 2.5-billion PlantBottle™ packages had been produced. Using normal plastic would have used about 60000 barrels of oil and created about 30000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, said Zipporah Maubane, Coca-Cola’s South African head of sustainability communications.

“This is our way of helping consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by providing them with an option to purchase a bottled beverage made from 30% plant material. We are working towards making our facility the greenest water-bottling plant in all of Africa,” said Maubane.

The plant packaging looks, feels and functions just like traditional PET. It is recyclable and the company is establishing community recycling programmes to benefit from it.


The packaging is used at its new Heidelberg bottling facility in Gauteng, where more than R400-million has been invested in solar panels, waste-recycling systems, rainwater harvesting and internal water recycling technology.

Coca-Cola created a sustainability framework called Live for a Difference in 2004 that set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions from its manufacturing operations by 2015.

“We are well on our way to achieving these targets,” Maubane said. “By the end of 2010 our greenhouse-gas intensity per litre of product had improved by 14% over that of 2004 and we had improved the energy efficiency of our new cooling equipment by 40% compared to 2000 levels.”

After a global assessment of Coca-Cola’s carbon emissions, the company realised the largest component of its climate footprint was found in the roughly 10-million units of refrigeration equipment used to keep beverages cold. It then invested more than $60-million in research and development to advance the use of climate-friendly cooling technologies.

Through research with bottling partners and plant managers worldwide, the company developed 10 high-return, low-risk energy best practices for bottling partners to implement by 2012.

A global campaign site was created where they could register their progress.

“We are also powering our fleet of vehicles with a mix of efficient fuels – including electricity, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrids and biodiesel as well as conventional fuels – and we are exploring new options as they become available,” Maubane said.

The Greening judges praised the company’s ongoing mission to avoid energy wastage and meet the ambitious targets it has set itself to increase energy efficiency. “It is a strong and commendable entry.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Pepsi’s Pioneer acquisition is not healthy

The move may provide a short-term economic boost, but it also has long-term health costs

A handful of multinational corporations is responsible for the world’s plastic waste

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle were responsible for the most pieces of plastic collected according to an environmental pressure group

Each breath is killing you

Each breath you take means more toxic pollutants are sucked deep down into your lungs. In our metros, that pollution is ubiquitous

Digging up the graves of Gukurahundi graves – and burying the evidence

Exhumations of Gukurahundi graves risk destroying vital clues about the extent of the massacre and who was responsible

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my levy

Treasury is coining it as South Africans continue to shell out for their favourite sugary drinks

South Africa’s reputation leaders

Mr Price had a significant rise, while Tiger Brands had a phenomenal drop
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Eastern Cape universities concerned by rising Covid cases

Fort Hare says 26 more students have tested positive while Walter Sisulu University says some of its students have been admitted to hospital.

SAA in talks to recoup R350-million in blocked funds...

The cash-strapped national carrier is in the process of recouping its blocked funds from Zimbabwe, which could go towards financing the airline’s business rescue plan

NSFAS’s woes do not help its mandate

Nehawu wants the scheme’s administrator, Randall Carolissen, to be removed

Unions cry foul over SABC dismissal costs and retrenchments

Broadcaster bodies say claims that a recent skills audit is unrelated to retrenchments are ‘irrational’
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday