Long criticized by environmentalists for its use of billions of plastic bottles, Coca-Cola announced an aggressive sustainability goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of all the packaging it puts out into the world by 2030, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Company officials said the initiative, called “World without Waste,” will include investments in more efficient packaging, local recycling programs and consumer education. The company also said it plans to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled content by 2030. Coca-Cola declined to release how much it intends to spend on the effort.
“Future growth comes with further responsibilities. As a company, we must grow with conscience,” said CEO James Quincey. He added the company aims to collect an amount of bottles equal to what it produces rather than taking on the more difficult task of recollecting all of its own bottles.
A large challenge will be formalizing the program in developing countries and countries that don’t have formal waste collection programs.
“[There’s] clearly going to be a lot of groundwork with a lot of other organizations and the governments to start building that infrastructure,” said Quincey.
Greenpeace, which has identified Coca-Cola as one of the world’s worst polluters, promptly criticized the plan, citing the company’s heavy use of “single-use” plastic bottles as a key contribution to ocean plastic pollution. (Source: Wall Street Journal
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