In January 2018, the Coca-Cola Company made a pledge and commitment to the world, that by 2030, Coca-Cola would collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can that is produced. Globally, Coca-Cola is working with many partners to achieve its target of a ‘World Without Waste’. In Sri Lanka, Coca-Cola is achieving this through its ‘Give Back Life’ campaign for PET packaging with the support of its partners across Local Governments, NGOs, civil society groups, youth organizations, and its valued customers.
Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly abbreviated as PET or PETE, is any plastic with the number ‘1’ in the recycling logo on the package. It is commonly used for water, cooking oil, dish wash, shampoo products, other beauty, and personal care products and biscuit trays.
Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. (CCBSL) is committed to achieving high volumes of PET plastic recycling in Sri Lanka through waste management solutions for PET plastic both at national and local levels.
‘Give Back Life’ promotes individual responsibility in the waste disposal and recycling and highlights the importance of community-led sustainable initiatives in post-consumed PET recovery, recycling, and waste management practices. Coca- Cola has successfully led large-scale PET collection drives through community-led volunteerism throughout the country.
Coca-Cola launched it’s first ‘Give Back Life’ PET plastic collection center in Delgoda in line with World Environment Day 2019. The project enhanced the capacity of the Biyagama Pradeshiya Sabha to collect more PET plastic more efficiently. The selling of the PET plastic on a per KG basis provided a sustainable and additional channel of income generation for the Society of Sanitary Workers under the Biyagama Pradeshiya Sabha who managed the project.
More than once, Coca-Cola has collaborated with Sri Lanka Cricket to collect and recycle thousands of PET plastic bottles at cricket stadiums in Galle, Colombo, Kandy, and Dambulla. The campaign encourages people to give new life to their PET bottles through a recycling process that converts them into clothing, shoes, brushes, and brooms, thereby adding value by preserving our unique environment and creating new livelihoods.
Coca-Cola is a National Partner of AIESEC Sri Lanka and both the organizations have worked closely in implementing this campaign. AIESEC Sri Lanka can resonate with this campaign since it is an organization that actively involves in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Coca-Cola has addressed many events including National Conferences hosted by AIESEC Sri Lanka to create awareness about the ‘Give Back Life’ campaign and sustainability among the youth.
In a recent event, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. Country Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability Manager, Lakshan Madurasinghe said “We are increasing the number of locations where our ‘Give Back Life’ collection bins are located for the convenience of the public to dispose of post-consumer PET plastic. In turn, increasing the motivation to hold onto PET plastic bottles until it can be disposed of appropriately. We are working towards achieving this behavioral shift for all Sri Lankans to no longer litter the country but do their part in preserving our unique environment and facilitating a better and cleaner society for everyone”
‘Give Back Life’ campaign for PET collection and recycling also drives community mobilization through its multi-stakeholder, volunteer clean-ups and collection programs.
It continues to drive locally the Coca-Cola Company’s global ‘World Without Waste’ Goal. This goal is the centerpiece of the company’s new packaging vision in Sri Lanka.