The Coca-Cola Company remains steadfast on their World Without Waste commitment with one of its fundamental goals already within reach – to ensure that their packaging is 100% recyclable by 2025. To find their packaging in oceans and landfills is unacceptable to the Company, which is why in 2018, they decided to rethink their approach to packaging, from design down to collection, to lessen their environmental footprint.
In the Philippines, 100% of their packaging options are recyclable and among them are the returnable glass bottles. The iconic Coca-Cola contour glass bottle has been a well-known trademark of the Company since it was first created in 1915. More than a hundred years have passed and the iconic glass bottle still makes up a large percentage of the local packaging. At present, 50% of the total production in the country is comprised of glass bottles, many found in sari-sari stores, especially in the provinces.
Among the many reasons that the returnable glass bottles remain a staple in local production is because it is a highly sustainable packaging option. For decades, Coca-Cola Philippines has continuously and sustainably operated using their returnable glass bottles which are collected, washed, and reused.
“We offer a range of packaging types so our consumers have the power to choose the right packaging that fits them best. With each option we provide, we ensure its packaging sustainability. In the Philippines, our primary packaging — glass, PET plastic bottles, cans — are 100% recyclable. And through our World Without Waste vision, we aim to work toward an endless loop of possibility for our packaging,” shared Coca-Cola Philippines Public Affairs and Sustainability Director Jonah de Lumen-Pernia.
Going beyond recycling, The Coca-Cola Company also recognizes that there are other possible solutions such as reducing and reusing plastic. The reuse of its PET bottles for other purposes is often practiced in many Filipino households.
Light-weighting efforts have also led to huge reductions in the plastic used in packaging of beverages such as Royal, Sprite, Sparkle, Wilkins, and Viva! which are now 17% lighter. While redesigning packaging to reduce plastic content, the Company also aims to increase the use of recycled material through its investment in an advanced bottle-to-bottle recycling facility – the first to be supported by the Company in Southeast Asia. All these plans serve the Coca-Cola Company’s ultimate goal to collect and recycle each and every bottle they sell by 2030, thereby reducing the amount of plastic waste that are found in oceans and landfills.
Moving toward a circular economy, Coca-Cola Philippines has created programs in partnership with local governments including Davao, Siargao, and Boracay where they aid in the collection of PET bottles and turn them over to local recycling partners.