Kenya is set to benefit from a Ksh. 3.8 Billion fund set up by Coca Cola in a bid to stimulate plastic recycling industries. It is also aimed at creating awareness on plastic waste pollution in Southern, East and Central Africa over the next three years.

The Coca-Cola Company is accelerating the collection and recycling of PET plastic bottles across Southern & East Africa to commemorate Global Recycling Day that was marked yesterday. This is part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to fully participate in the solution to address the plastic pollution problem and to accelerate the implementation of its global World Without Waste vision, which aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it sells by 2030.

The campaign will fast track three pillars of the World Without Waste vision namely Design, Collect and Partner. The idea is to design bottles which are easy to recycle and are themselves made partly out of recycled material; create collecting opportunities by stimulating recycling industries; and partnering with others in the value chain to reduce plastic waste.

In Kenya, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners joined industry partners last year to form PET Recycling Company Limited (PETCO Kenya)  to spearhead initiatives to collect and recycle PET bottles and packaging, as well create a favourable environment for the investment of additional capital in the PET sector in both production and recycling.

This year, the plan is to accelerate collection and recycling in partnership with industry through establishing Voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (VEPR) schemes similar to PETCO in other markets. The company will support more community clean-up activities as well as empower communities through basic business education to increase waste recycling infrastructure and job creation. The Coca-Cola Company 5by20 project which seeks to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s global value chain by the year 2020.

5by20 artisans at Acacia Creations which is based in Nairobi create fun, environmentally conscious decorations for profit, transforming Coca-Cola beverage packaging and unused telephone wire into “animals” such as giraffes, elephants, dinosaurs and reindeer. Acacia Creations has helped connect more than 1,000 artisans across six countries  with a global marketplace to sell their jewelry and home décor.

Ahmed Rady, General Manager, Coca-Cola East & Central Africa Franchise, had this to say, “We are creating a solution as a total approach to address waste pollution through the entire packaging lifestyle. This Global Recycling Day we look forward to a future where we can work in partnership with our key stakeholders to create an Africa without waste, at the same time as creating jobs and creating awareness to our people.”