Coca-Cola Continues Rollout Of New 2L Returnable PET Plastic Bottles

Following successful launches in Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern Gauteng, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) continues the roll-out of its 2L returnable Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle into more regions across South Africa. The extension includes North West, Heidelberg, the southern parts of Mpumalanga, the East Rand and sections of Gauteng (Soweto, Katlehong, Diepsloot, Tembisa, Kagiso and Carltonville, amongst others).

Returnable PET is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste vision, which focuses on the entire packaging value chain from how bottles and cans are designed and made to how they’re collected, recycled and reused later. CCBSA is offering more consumers across South Africa value-for-money, while playing its part in protecting the environment.

During September, which is the National Clean-up and Recycle Month in South Africa, CCBSA will roll-out numerous community clean-ups and litter collection campaigns around the country to raise awareness and reduce plastic pollution.

“As a user of packaging we have a responsibility to not only recycle packaging through our various initiatives, but also to continue to invest in infrastructure that can help us develop innovative packaging to achieve our World Without Waste ambitions,” says CCBSA Managing Director, Velaphi Ratshefola. “By offering a returnable PET bottle, we are creating greater value for money, as well as an incentive for consumers to collect packaging, rather than disposing of it into the environment.”

The returnable bottles are made of PET plastic and feature a paper label with ‘RETURNABLE’ appearing on a green or yellow strip on the front of the bottle. The recommended retail price for the 2L Coca-Cola Original Taste – Less Sugar beverage is R15, which excludes a R9 deposit. Other brands, like Coca-Cola No Sugar, Sprite and Fanta, are also be available in the new 2L returnable PET plastic bottle at a recommended retail price of R12 excluding the R9 deposit.

Once a bottle is returned to CCBSA, it will go on a looped journey to be cleaned to Coca-Cola’s stringent measures and requirements, then refilled and distributed back to retail outlets. When the bottle reaches the end of its lifecycles, after being returned to CCBSA, it will be recycled and turned into another PET plastic bottle. 

“This initiative strengthens our PET collection efforts through our various partnerships such as our membership in the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) and several buy-back centres we have established in communities around the country,” adds Ratshefola. “Last year, 62% of PET bottles were collected for recycling. Through this new returnable PET packaging and other innovations, we are set to continue improving our collection and recycling rates, until we reach our ambitious targets.”

During 2019 more than 92 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles were collected through the PET Recycling Company (PETCO). These bottles were diverted from landfills in South Africa, saving 612,000m² of landfill space.