CCBSA Launches Mpumalanga Buy-Back Centre

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Mpumalanga, 30 October 2019 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has reaffirmed its commitment to its holistic “World Without Waste” sustainability goal through the launch of its latest buy-back centre in Mpumalanga.

In partnership with the Department of Social Development (DSD), CCBSA has unveiled the Hlayisani Community Recycling Centre at Manyeveni in the Nsikazi Zone of the City of Mbombela Municipality.

Waste is becoming a growing burden for municipal waste services; and municipalities around the country are struggling to collect all the waste generated by the public.

The danger of waste lying in the streets, polluting the water and the environment does not only impact the aesthetics, but influences climate change as well.

The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers have committed to a bold and ambitious goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can they sell by 2030—a critical commitment which forms part of the holistic “World Without Waste” plan.

“This centre is aimed at significantly reducing pollution in the area, while empowering disadvantaged community members to formally participate in the waste economy as recycling intermediaries and collectors,” says Motshidisi Mokwena, Head of Reputation and Regulatory Affairs at CCBSA. “This project will also serve to reduce plastic and other packaging waste from reaching the communities and adjacent nature reserves, as well as to build community awareness about pollution and the value of waste management and communicate behaviour change.”

The proposed community recycling centre will include a buy-back centre to serve the entire community, where recyclable material will be collected, sorted and sold to companies that will recycle the material.

Recyclable material will be collected from the area by collectors using bicycles or trolleys to transport the waste to the centre.

Material can also be brought to the centre by businesses or the community during operating hours. Glass, cans, paper and certain types of plastic will be accepted by the recycling centre. These materials will be sorted, and either collected by recycling companies or taken to their depots.

Hazardous or non-recyclable waste will not be accepted by the centre and glass will be sorted into three skips (one each for amber, clear and green glass).

Linked to the buy-back centre is a Recycle Swop Shop (RSS), a simple, but effective empowerment initiative primarily targeting disadvantaged children and community members.

Throughout the week, communities are encouraged to collect and sort recyclable “litter” within their local neighbourhoods. The community can bring their collected material to the RSS for weighing and each person receives a ticket bearing points based on the quantities they have collected. From there, they go to the shop where they can buy various essential goods and products with these points.

“Any material which can be reworked, preventing it from entering a landfill site is good news for every municipality,” says Mokwena. “This will benefit every individual, home, community, the country and the environment as a whole and is in line with the DSD’s Food for Waste Programme.”

In South Africa, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic recycling is primarily driven through the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), which was established in 2004 with the help of industry players and The Coca-Cola Company.

It’s been a phenomenal success, with 67% of all PET bottles collected and recycled in SA in 2018. This has created over 65,000 new income opportunities in the recycling sector.

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