On this World Environment Day, Coca‑Cola in Maldives has reaffirmed its commitment to play its part as a responsible business to help solve PET plastic waste pollution in Maldives and create a circular economy for plastic.
Every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans, with half of it having been used once and then discarded. According to an assessment of the socio-economic impact of the use of plastic bottles in the Maldives, conducted by NIG Capital in association with Maldives Ocean Plastic Alliance (MOPA), the total plastic footprint in the Maldives is approximately 12% of the total waste in the country, while PET bottles used in the beverages industry is about 10% of the total plastic waste, resulting in PET being approximately 1% of the total waste.
However, with the Maldives comprising 99 percent water and just one percent land – a geographical composition that causes any harm to the waters to echo throughout the islands. Coca‑Cola does recognize that it has a responsibility to be part of the solution, and hence in 2018, The Coca‑Cola Company launched an ambitious sustainable packaging initiative called World Without Waste to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030
In Maldives, Coca‑Cola has been taking bold steps under the strategic pillars of Design, Collect and Partner to enable and promote solutions that effectively tackle plastic pollution, and create a circular economy around the use of its packaging.
Sprite, the iconic and much-loved beverage across generations, transformed its packaging from its famous green bottle to a clear package. Part of a global shift by Coca‑Cola towards 100% recyclable packaging, the new clear/transparent Sprite PET bottle, launched in Maldives in September 2021, is 100% recyclable, and therefore increases the value of the plastic in the after-use market and its ability to remain in the circular economy to be re-used for different purposes. Bonaqua, the water brand of choice for Maldivians, has also moved to a clear bottle. With these two changes the entire Coca‑Cola range of PET packs in Maldives is now available in more recyclable clear packaging.
Coca‑Cola, through its local bottling partner Malé Aerated Water Company (MAWC), has also forged strong partnerships with local organisations that are involved in practical solutions to address plastic waste. Coca‑Cola is one of the main partners of the Maldives Ocean Plastics Alliance (MOPA) in its flagship Plastic Reverse Logistics Project and Island PET Collection Project, and is the sole partner in the NGO’s recently-launched Resort PET Collection.
“Together with The Coca‑Cola Company, MAWC is taking steps to create a more sustainable and better shared future. We are committed to making a difference in people’s lives, communities and our planet by doing business the right way. We look forward to working with our partners to explore more ways to accelerate the circular economy for post-consumer PET bottles in the Maldives,” says Mr. Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director at Male’ Aerated Water Company.
Now in its second year, the Plastic Reverse Logistics Project and Island PET Collection Project see Coca‑Cola voluntarily implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the Maldives to give a new life to the 100% recyclable and versatile PET plastic packaging. Through these projects, 45,800 Kgs of PET were collected in 2021. The projects are being expanded this year, with more islands and eateries being added to the collection initiatives.
“As a responsible global brand, Coca‑Cola is committed to the principles of reducing waste, reusing and recycling resources and products. We our also committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we look forward to jointly working together with partners, and the government to create a circular economy in the Maldives,” concludes Mr. Pankaj Sinha, Managing Director for Coca‑Cola in the Maldives.
In December 2021, Coca‑Cola together with MOPA launched the Resort PET Collection Project to recover and recycle empty PET bottles from resorts across the archipelago, further expanding the initiatives to reduce our reliance on new plastic and ensuring bottles don’t enter the oceans. The new project counts five resort operators as its partners, and has resulted in close to 1,000 Kgs of PET in collection in just six months.
The collected PET bottles – the most widely recycled plastic in the world – are handed over to Parley Maldives to be recycled and upcycled into everyday items like branded footwear, swimwear and garments. These initiatives contribute to Coca‑Cola’s vision to create a circular economy for plastic and a better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities, and our planet.
Coca‑Cola in Maldives offers its products in packages suitable for all occasions, and in choices such as PET bottles, and returnable and non-returnable glass bottles. All of Coca‑Cola’s packaging is 100% recyclable, and Coca‑Cola remains committed towards a cleaner and pristine Maldives.