Interivew With James Quincey, President & CEO Of The Coca-Cola Company
Friday, August 17th, 2018
Coca-Cola announced its “World Without Waste” vision earlier this year, which focuses on the entire packaging lifecycle—from how packaging is designed and manufactured to how it is recycled and repurposed. The APFI team interviews James Quincey, President & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, regarding this initiative.
Could you briefly explain what the campaign entails?
Our “World Without Waste” vision includes several goals. One is to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030. We’re also working to make our packaging 100 percent recyclable by 2025.
Are there any successful country-specific case studies that you wish to highlight in relation to this campaign?
Yes, there are a number examples, including initiatives that have been underway for several years. In Spain, we have a partnership with several organizations called Mares Circulares. It focuses on collecting waste on Spain’s coasts, beaches and so on. By the end of 2018, we expect to collect about 250 tons of waste, including 25 tons of PET.
More than 10 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa, we funded and co-created the PET Recycling Co., or PETCO. This is an industry body that promotes and regulates the recycling of PET. In South Africa, we saw an increase in recycling from single digits in 2000 to 65% in 2017. This is close to European rates and exceeds those in the United States.
In the United States, Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola Foundation have a partnership with Keep America Beautiful, The Recycling Partnership and The Closed Loop Fund for a program that has donated more than 1 million recycling bins.
Have you faced any challenges in actualising the “World Without Waste” campaign or other related campaigns?
In some countries today, collection and recycling of packaging is high, while in others there is still a lot of work to do. Simply put, this is a huge challenge with many moving parts. Our system operates in more than 200 countries and territories, all of which have their own governments, regulatory systems and waste collection and recycling systems. In some parts of the world, the infrastructure doesn’t yet exist to collect and recycle packaging. Even if it did, the might not be a market for the material. So there is much work ahead of us.
Taking it forward:
Other than this campaign, what other steps is the company taking to educate the consumer and / or other organisations about the importance of maintaining a circular economy?
We can’t do this alone. We need to partner with local communities, our customers, employees, industry and consumers everywhere to help make sure our packaging doesn’t end up where it doesn’t belong. We’re investing in partnerships with NGOs to help educate consumers where to recycle, we’re supporting large-scale infrastructure programs and we’re finding creative ways to use our supply chain.
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