Wednesday 17 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 14): Coca-Cola is moving toward circularity in plastic packaging in Malaysia by introducing the Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 500ml bottles nationwide, crafted entirely from recycled plastic bottles, excluding caps and labels.

Khairul Anwar Ab Gahani, the director of public affairs, communications and sustainability for Coca-Cola in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, highlighted that this initiative aligns with broader sustainability goals aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The objective is to minimise the use of virgin materials in the market and prevent environmental leakages.

“We want to ensure that the products that we sell in the market do not end up [polluting] the environment, but instead, be collected by the [re]cyclists and eventually be reused back as a package material,” he said.

Coca-Cola currently offers at least one brand made from 100% recycled plastic bottles in over 40 countries and territories worldwide, including Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and now Malaysia.

“In the Asian market itself, a substantial number of launches have occurred. Last year, we initiated the recycled bottle launch in Vietnam and Myanmar, and this year, we commenced with the launch in Indonesia in June, followed by the Philippines in November. Now, it is Malaysia’s turn for the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) [plastic bottles] launch. Next week, we will also be launching it in Singapore,” said Wan Ahmad Syazwan Mohamad, public affairs, communications and sustainability frontline manager for Coca-Cola in Malaysia.

The 100% recycled PET (rPET) plastic bottles adhere to The Coca-Cola Company’s stringent global standards for food-grade, 100% recycled plastic bottle packaging. Additionally, they are halal-certified, recognised by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

This initiative aligns with The Coca-Cola Company’s global sustainable packaging strategy, aiming to use at least 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2030, globally.

“Our collection strategy is founded on two key pillars. Firstly, we prioritise high-volume collection by collaborating with recyclers like Hiroyuki Industries, a local-based Japanese company in Johor. Through contractual arrangements, we facilitate the collection of bottles from diverse market locations, including schools, community centres and public areas. The primary objective is to maximise the collection volume in the market,” said Wan Ahmad Syazwan.

“Secondly, we focus on increasing awareness and encouraging proper waste segregation. We are pleased to announce partnerships with various organisations, including waste management (and public cleansing) service [provider] SWM Environment Sdn Bhd, to develop assets that contribute to community awareness. These initiatives aim to educate the public about effective waste segregation practices.”

Wan Ahmad Syazwan said recycling and reproducing rPET bottles is a collective effort.

“As part of broader industry alliances, we collaborate with other companies to establish direct legislation that promotes and encourages a greater number of companies to undertake specific sustainable initiatives related to the collection and packaging of recycled bottles from
the market,” he said.

“When we talk about collection projects that we do, we do not discriminate between brands. So, we do not only collect Coca-Cola products; we collect everything.”

Together with its bottling arm Coca-Cola Bottlers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (or Coca-Cola Malaysia), Coca-Cola is driving innovations in packaging and enhancing collection recycling capacity in Malaysia. The 100% recycled plastic bottles undergo local processing and manufacturing in the Coca-Cola bottling plant at Bandar Enstek, Negeri Sembilan.

Prior to the launch of the 100% rPET bottles, Coca-Cola ran its “Recycle Me” Campaign for the second consecutive year, aiming to raise awareness and drive action regarding the importance of plastic segregation and recycling.

The sustainability initiative, in collaboration with AEON Malaysia, Hiroyuki Industries and Trash4Cash, intends to promote public awareness around the value of recycling. Consumers are encouraged to collect PET bottles in exchange for cash rewards based on their contributions. For every 10 bottles deposited, participants are eligible for a RM0.10 Trash4Cash buy-back incentive, complemented by Coca-Cola products. Consumers can now scan the QR code on the Smart Recycle Bin to provide their details, facilitating a seamless and efficient experience for all participants.

This year, Coca-Cola Malaysia and its partners are expanding their efforts to 15 AEON malls across five states: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor. Collected bottles are then transported to recycler Hiroyuki Industries, where these undergo a process to be transformed into another bottle at a later stage.

Edited ByTan Zhai Yun
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