Cape Town - Amid the crippling drought in the Western Cape and with evermore stringent water-saving measures being introduced, every drop counts and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) on Thursday highlighted its own efforts which it said had resulted in a saving of over 700 million litres of water in recent years in its soft drink production processes.
Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), now known as CCBSA, is one of South Africa's largest bottlers set a target in 2010 to reduce the amount of water they use in their soft drink production by 20 percent by the year 2020.
The company announced on Thursday that it had exceeded its target by almost for years and added that by the end of 2016, it had managed a 30 percent reduction in water usage.
CCBSA said it had saved 726 million litres of water over the past six years, the equivalent of around 290 Olympic sized swimming pools, or enough to supply almost 8 000 households for a year with 250 litres per day.
CCBSA said the illustrative example of this was the amount of water used to produce onelitre of soft drink, which in 2010 required 2.13 litres of water.
By last year, this had been reduced to 1.7 litres needed to produce one litre of soft drink, and of this amount, one litre of water went into the soft drink itself, while the remaining 700 millilitres is used in the bottling process and recycled where possible.
Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, was on Thursday set to visit the infrastructure installed by CCBSA that reduces water usage at the company's Appletiser production plant in Elgin in the Western Cape.
Managing director of CCBSA, Velaphi Ratshefola, said:
"In a country like South Africa, where water resources are severely limited and increasingly constrained, water savings initiatives can no longer be an occasional add-on to existing business practices. We need to interrogate where, how and why we use water in our daily operations.
"This is the approach we took in looking to save water in our production process and discovered that CCBSA could save more than just a little water – we could fundamentally reduce our water consumption, and our dependence on an increasingly scarce resource," he said.
CCBSA said it achieved the water savings through implementing a number of advanced technologies which included electrochemically activated (ECA) and membrane technology that maked use of scientific reaction to clean and disinfect equipment which is a vital component of all production in the food and beverages industry. It said both of these resulted in cleaning processes that were less chemically intensive and used less water, making it better than traditional cleaning methods.
It added that the use of anaerobic digesters allowed for the more efficient recycling of waste water which resulted in more clean, potable water being available for other uses, while performance trackers had been installed to ensure that water savings were maintained.
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY