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Working together to improve waste management

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has partnered with the eThekwini Municipality to roll out waste collection and recycling programmes intended to drive a circular economy and improve waste management in KwaZulu-Natal. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has partnered with the eThekwini Municipality to roll out waste collection and recycling programmes intended to drive a circular economy and improve waste management in KwaZulu-Natal. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 3, 2023


Durban — Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has partnered with the eThekwini Municipality’s Cleansing and Solid Waste (CSW) Unit and packaging recycler ALPLA recycling to implement programmes that will increase waste collection and recycling within the eThekwini Municipality.

The partnership will include multiple programmes aimed at delivering better socio-economic and environmental outcomes in the city.

The three-year partnership forms part of CCBSA’s drive towards a greater circular economy strategy as part of its World Without Waste Vision 2030 launched in 2018.

Unlike a traditional linear economy, a circular economy extracts the maximum value from materials and products while in use and then recovers and regenerates them. This is in line with the municipality’s vision to develop sustainable economic opportunities and to have a coherent plan to respond to the environmental challenges to improve the city’s resilience to climate-change events.

CCBSA public affairs, communications and sustainability director Nozicelo Ngcobo said the partnership between CCBSA, eThekwini and ALPLA will support the creation of a circular economy that aims to deliver improved environmental and socio-economic development outcomes. This is in line with the government’s objectives for a more inclusive and green economy.

“CCBSA has committed to collect the equivalent of every bottle or can we sell by 2030. This goal is dependent on driving society’s behavioural changes in order to embed the culture of waste collection and recycling to support the technological improvement in the recyclability of all materials,” Ngcobo said.

With 190 sites the Austrian ALPLA Group is one of the world’s leading companies in the production and recycling of plastic packaging. In the ALPLA recycling division, the company operates state-of-the-art recycling plants at 13 locations around the world.

In June, ALPLA announced the construction of a state-of-the-art recycling plant in Ballito, north of Durban. The plant, with an output of 35 000 tonnes of recycled PET material, marks the company’s entry into the South African recycling market and enables the establishment of a PET recycling cycle in South Africa. Completion is planned for quarter 4 2024. In total, ALPLA is investing around 60 million euros in strengthening the regional circular economy.

ALPLA recycling division managing director Dietmar Marin said that by setting up the first recycling resources of our own in South Africa, we were equipping ourselves for the future, contributing to increasing the collection rate and reducing waste by recycling valuable raw materials. At the same time, we were creating many new jobs locally.

The partnership will focus on the following programmes:

  • Separation at source to improve the quality of waste as well as divert a significant portion of recyclable waste from being disposed of at the landfills. The programme will target the five catchment areas, with outer waste being a pilot in 2023.
  • Integration of waste pickers into the waste recycling value chain to improve working conditions as they play a critical role in the circular economy.
  • Installation of litter booms to protect the river system and the coastal line.
  • Enterprise development to support emerging waste collection companies across the municipality.
  • Education and awareness programmes targeting communities.

The Separation at Source initiative is the anchor programme and has the following objectives:

  • Diversion of recyclable material will reduce the volume of waste going to landfills across the municipality.
  • Improving the quality of recyclable materials which will reduce the overall cost of recycled products and improve the competitiveness of these materials in the market.
  • Re-ignite the circular economy within eThekwini through enterprise development and the integration of informal waste pickers into the value chain.
  • Driving responsible disposal of waste to protect the environment.

eThekwini’s CSW is a leading provider of waste management services which includes a network of 32 operational centres, seven transfer stations, three landfill sites, two landfill gas projects and two leachate plants. These assets enable CSW to provide a full range of services to 3.4 million residential, industrial and commercial customers across the municipality.

eThekwini spokesperson Gugu Sisilana said: “eThekwini Municipality is mandated to provide sustainable waste management services to protect and enhance the health of the City’s communities by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution and ecological degradation.

“We are proud to collaborate with CCBSA, as we believe that effective waste management can only be fully realised through collaboration between the private and public sectors.”

CCBSA has placed a strong emphasis on packaging design. CCBSA has expanded the use of clear and returnable plastic bottles to improve bottle recyclability.

“We can’t do it alone. We work with all stakeholders, including non-profit organisations, communities, the different spheres of government, as well as our industry and industry bodies to move toward a cleaner environment,” Ngcobo added.

“We all have a responsibility to help solve the global plastic waste crisis, and we are leveraging our scale and reach across markets to achieve our sustainability goals, by reducing waste pollution and our carbon footprint.”

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