Coca-Cola Vietnam is taking a meaningful step towards supporting a circular economy by introducing bottles made from 100 per cent recycled PET plastic (rPET) – excluding caps and labels – across the country.
By introducing COCA-COLA bottles made from 100 per cent rPET, the company expects to avoid using around 2,000 tonnes of new plastic in Vietnam annually.
The new rPET packaging will debut this September for bottles of COCA-COLA Original and COCA-COLA Zero Sugar, including 300ml bottles, and offers the double benefit of convenience and sustainability for on-the-go consumers in Vietnam.
This announcement is a significant step for the Coca-Cola system in Vietnam to grow its circular economy vision and help bottles become another bottle. The safety of the new rPET plastic packaging has been thoroughly reviewed and complies with Vietnam's regulations and The Coca-Cola Company’s strict global standards for food-grade rPET packaging.
Consumers around the country can expect the same refreshing taste of COCA-COLA in a more sustainable package.
CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Co., Ltd. Peeyush Sharma said, “PET plastic bottles have value beyond their first use and can be used over and over again. Our new bottles made with food-grade rPET are recyclable and can easily become new bottles.”
The Coca-Cola Company has a global World Without Waste vision to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can it sells by 2030.
However, it’s not just about collecting and recycling bottles, it’s also about using less new plastic. As such, the company has a global goal to use at least 50 per cent recycled content in its packaging by 2030.
The Coca-Cola Company now offers 100 per cent rPET bottles in more than 30 markets around the world.
Leonardo Garcia, general manager of Coca-Cola Vietnam and Cambodia shared, “We want to ensure that all our bottles have more than one life in support of a circular economy in Vietnam. To achieve this, it is critical we have enough supply of food-grade recycled plastic to meet demand. This is why Coca-Cola Vietnam, together with our bottling partner, is investing in the collection and recycling of PET bottles.”
“While we still have a lot of work to do to help reduce plastic waste in Vietnam, by educating consumers about recycling and the potential for plastic bottles to become new plastic bottles, we see this as a big move in the right direction,” continued Garcia.
To build awareness and encourage action on recycling last year, Coca-Cola rolled out a prominent Recycle Me message across all its packaging in Vietnam. SPRITE also transitioned and replaced its iconic green bottles to clear packaging in Vietnam in order to give the bottles the best chance of another life.
“We can’t solve this challenge alone, which is why we are collaborating with partners, governments, and industry to help us scale solutions and make our packaging more sustainable,” said Garcia.
Since 2018, Coca-Cola Vietnam has been working with partners such as the Centre for Supporting Green Development and local recyclers to support and incentivise informal plastic waste collectors who are the backbone of the recycling industry in Vietnam.
With support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the company has also been partnering with UNESCO on their programmes to raise community awareness and find innovative solutions for plastic waste management at Cu Lao Cham and Cat Ba islands since 2020.
Coca-Cola Vietnam is one of the founding members of the Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam, a partnership with other leading companies, recyclers, and government agencies to accelerate local packaging collection and recycling in support of a clean and green Vietnam.
Phan Tuan Hung, director general of the Department of Legal Affairs for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment said, “Coca-Cola Vietnam is one of the pioneering companies that is working to build a circular economy for packaging. They have been working with partners to find ways to collect and recycle their bottles so they can have another life. This is an ambitious goal and it shows the company’s readiness to deploy extended producer responsibility for plastic packaging. I would like to congratulate them on their introduction of the new 100 per cent rPET bottles today, marking a milestone for Coca-Cola Vietnam’s sustainability journey within the country.”
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