Durban, 20 September 2019 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) employees and community members are gearing up for a largescale clean-up of rivers and beaches along the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coast as part of the International Coastal Clean-up.
The project is a national partnership with Plastics SA to coincide with Clean up and Recycle Week which runs in September every year. Last year, the nationwide clean ups attracted 885 volunteers who collected and filled 1994 bags of waste, focusing especially on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics used in bottling of soft drinks. Crews of 50 to 150 CCBSA employees will volunteer their time to collect and document trash littering the coastline.
In KZN, CCBSA has partnered with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), Durban Solid Waste (DSW), Plastic SA and KZN Ezemvelo in a clean-up of the Beachwood Mangroves and the Mbokodweni River mouth from 20 to 21 September. In the Eastern Cape, volunteers met in East London to clean up on 13 September and additional groups plan to operate in Port Elizabeth in the 04th of October.
“Along with air pollution, natural waterways and oceans are the worst affected by human consumer activity,” says Nolundi Mzimba, Coastal Region Public Affairs Manager at CCBSA. “The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has an important duty to reduce waste in the environment through an effective waste collection and recycling market, as well as awareness building and environmentally-friendly materials.”
CCBA is dedicated to recycling and contributing to a “World Without Waste” and invests significant resources to reaching and exceeding recycling targets. As the main sponsor and founding member of the PET Company (PETCO), CCBA invests significantly in recycling in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda, and supports 11 recycling plants in South Africa alone. Through PETCO, Coca-Cola recovers the equivalent of 113% of the PET plastic it puts into the South African market every year.
“While the commercial recycling industry is important to reducing harm, real change will happen when the entire public is aware of its role in the waste building up in natural water resources,” Mzimba. “As we solidify private-public partnerships, extend recycling networks and enlist the support of local communities we will ensure a cleaner environment over the long term through behaviour change that results in responsible consumption and disposal practices.”