Coca-Cola Philippines today shared with stakeholders and media the four-year progress of its World Without Waste goals—the company’s global sustainable packaging initiative to support a circular economy to eliminate waste through the continual use of packaging as a valuable resource. The company’s progress highlighted in the announcement includes:
• 100% operational status of the country’s first-of-its-kind recycling facility PETValue Philippines;
• Move to transition select Coca-Cola Original Taste and Wilkins Pure packaging to 100% recycled PET plastic (rPET) packaging (excluding caps and labels);
• The impact of partnerships driving collective action toward a circular economy for plastic, including supporting the set-up of over 800 collection points for used PET plastic bottles nationwide.
“At Coca-Cola, we continue to be guided by our purpose of refreshing the world and making a difference through loved brands that are produced sustainably, for a better shared future,” said Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines and Vice President for the East Franchise Operations of Coca-Cola ASEAN and South Pacific. “It has been four years since starting our World Without Waste journey, and we understand more than ever the importance of partnership and collective action. Together, we are making good progress in accelerating the transition to a circular economy for our packaging in the Philippines, with much more still to do.”
Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee for Environment and Natural Resources and keynote speaker in this year’s event shared her thoughts on the beverage company’s mission to contribute to the circular economy. “It has been three years since Coca-Cola put forward its commitment to build its own PET bottle facility, and I am pleased that it has now become a reality. Its opening could not have come at a better time, as the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 or Republic Act No. 11898, has lapsed into law. The legislation is not in itself the solution to eliminate all our plastic wastes, but it is certainly a big step forward towards the right direction,” Villar shared.
“The EPR Law places responsibility for products squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturer from cradle to grave. Hence, I have to laud your company for not only looking at collection compliance but also developing ways in which your very packaging incorporates recycled material and uses less virgin plastic,” she further added.
Pioneering recycling facility in PH now 100% fully operational
PETValue Philippines—a world-class bottle-to-bottle recycling facility that makes use of advanced recycling technologies—is now 100% operational in General Trias, Cavite. PETValue has a projected capacity of processing approximately 2 billion pieces of used clear PET plastic bottles —thus situating itself as a major contributor to a circular economy in the country, and in creating more direct and indirect job opportunities for Filipinos.
Clear plastic bottles—regardless of brand—that are collected from partners and collection points will be recycled at PETValue Philippines. The locally produced recycled PET resin straight from the facility will be used for Coca-Cola brands in recycled PET plastic packaging—thus creating a circular economy for the company’s packaging in the Philippines.
The facility is the result of a groundbreaking partnership between Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc.—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country–and Indorama Ventures, a global leader in packaging solutions and green technology.
“We are extremely proud of PETValue Philippines and our partnership with Indorama Ventures, whose global expertise in recycling technologies will prove to be an asset to the Philippines’ collective goals for sustainability,” said Gareth McGeown, President and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. “Sustainability is at the heart of who we are as a company, as proven by more than a century of Coca-Cola treating the Philippines as its home. And it is through innovations like PETValue and strengthened sustainable practices that we will be here for another 100 years, serving Filipino communities.”
As the world’s largest producer of recycled resin used in plastic beverage bottles, PETValue Philippines is Indorama Venture’s latest and most advanced recycled PET facility, joining a family of recycling plants across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Sanjay Ahuja, Executive President of Combined PET, Indorama Ventures shared, “The linear economy of the past was about ‘make, use, dispose.’ The circular economy of the future is about ‘make, use, collect, and recycle.’ A circular economy is a place where we all work together. It is a future where the government, civic society, and industries deliver sustainable solutions.”
Ahuja encouraged the public, “When you enjoy a Coke in a PET bottle and ensure it is collected and sent to PETValue for recycling, you play an active part in the sustainable future of the Philippines. The new science and technology that PETValue will use—to give old bottles new life—is a key part of this journey into the future.”
Supporting recycling and collection: Empowering MSMEs and the solid waste management sector
Coca-Cola Philippines makes use of every opportunity to bring positive change to individuals and small businesses such as sari-sari stores, waste collectors, and junk shops, with the belief that much more can be achieved through partnerships—whether with the private sector, government units, or civil society.
The company has also partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to create TESDA-certified skills training programs that will help develop the competencies of workers in the waste sector. The National Solid Waste Management Training Program for a World Without Waste (NSWMTP-WWW), is currently being piloted by TESDA in the municipal government of Angono, Rizal, which has committed the full participation of all its 10 barangays.
Department of Natural Resources Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga has commended this effort. “The public private partnership that Coca-Cola Philippines has with TESDA is extremely important in creating an ecosystem to support our work. The NSWMTP-WWW is an initiative that we at the DENR would like to closely partner with the company on,” she said. “I understand that discussions are currently in place to scale up on national implementation, and we hope to be a part of that, at the grassroots community level as well,” she added.
The company’s program with Plastic Bank has enabled the collection and recycling of almost 13.7 million PET plastic bottles—an undertaking that has simultaneously benefited the lives of informal waste collectors in Cavite. They were given access to training, tools, and equipment for efficient waste collection and a source of livelihood and were connected to Materials Recovery Facilities and junk shops that buy their collections to ensure the sustainability of the program.
As of September 2022, Coca-Cola Philippines has also established over 800 collection points for used PET bottles nationwide. These collection points help promote the segregation and collection of used PET bottles for recycling.
The company has been working with MSMEs to expand this network of collection points—through programs like Tapon to Ipon – Basta Klaro, Panalo! and Tindahan Extra Mile: Balik PET Bottle Program, Coca-Cola partners with traditional trade outlets such as sari-sari stores and carinderias to become collection hubs, where community members can drop off used, clear PET plastic bottles and get incentives in return. In turn, sari-sari store and carinderia partners also earn additional income from selling collected PET plastic bottles directly to waste management companies and recyclers . The goal is to activate a total of 2,200 collection hubs across the Philippines.
Promoting sustainable packaging solutions
Innovation in sustainable packaging remains a key objective for Coca-Cola, and the company announced that it will transition key brands Coca-Cola Original Taste and Wilkins Pure to 100% recycled PET plastic packaging (excluding caps and labels) by 2023. These new packaging formats will expand the company’s line-up of products in recycled plastic packaging in the Philippines. In 2019, the company was the first to launch 100% recycled PET plastic for its Viva! bottles and shifted its Sprite 500ml to 100% recycled PET plastic. Today, meanwhile, the company continues to utilize returnable glass bottles for approximately 50% of its products in the Philippines.
Coca-Cola also continues to redesign its PET plastic packaging by light weighting products to reduce the overall impact of its carbon footprint in the Philippines.
Collaborating and cooperating to create a circular economy
The company’s efforts in contributing to a circular economy have demonstrated, impact can be made through the power of partnership—whether it’s connecting NGOs and the private sector with communities or empowering them through various resources and business opportunities.
Alongside partnerships with the private sector, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, and its 28 partner NGOs, Coca-Cola’s goal of a World Without Waste has spread to 204 barangays, leading to the collection of over 119,000 kilos of waste, and empowering over 680 waste pickers nationwide.
Five winners of Reimagine Recycling Year 4—a project of Save Philippine Seas and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines that helps scale community-based plastic waste solutions—were also announced during the event, awarding the winners with grants of up to P500,000 each for their winning programs. Barrio Studios, Sagip Kalikasan, KAKASIE Eco-Park, #RefillNotLandfill, and Alon and Araw will continue their work this time with more project funding not just on collection and recycling but also in educating communities on proper waste segregation and management. Smart Recyclers was also awarded the Tetra Pak Special Award for helping minimize landfill waste by bridging together citizens, business organizations, and collection partners.
For Coca-Cola, bringing together communities and uniting them towards a common pursuit is a crucial step in its sustainability journey. Cecile Alcantara, President of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., shared, “Aligned with the company’s commitment to providing a better shared future for people, communities, and the planet, we ensure that we support a circular economy. There is no single or simple solution to the problem of plastic waste in our country. We need to come together to drive sustained progress and impact.”
Coca-Cola looks forward to partnering with more like-minded organizations and communities to make its vision of a World Without Waste a reality—supporting the creation of a circular economy in packaging, where jobs are created and livelihoods are supported.
“As a global beverage company, we are continuously innovating our packaging lifecycle and we recognize our role and responsibility to help tackle the plastic packaging waste issue in the Philippines,” del Rosario concluded. “We are committed to finding and deploying sustainable, effective solutions to help address the issue at its very core, with the support of our partners and communities.”
To learn more about Coca-Cola Philippines’ World Without Waste roadmap, visit http://www.coca- cola.com.ph.