Beverage manufacturing giant, Coca-Cola Bottling Company last Saturday conducted a recyclable waste buy-back exercise as part of activities to mark the 25th anniversary of its operation in the country.
The exercise which was held at Teshie in the Ledzokuku Municipality in the Greater Accra Region formed part of efforts by Coca-Cola to reduce the number of plastics used in its operations by 2030.
The company, in 2018 pledged robust “World Without Waste” goals to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030, make 100 per cent of packaging recyclable by 2025 and use 50 per cent recycled material in bottles and cans by 2030.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the exercise, the Corporate Affairs Director for the West African Countries Business Unit, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Mr Bethel Yeboah said the company had so far reduced the use of plastic by about 30 per cent, while it had also collected 100 per cent of all sold and used plastics from the market.
“I am happy to say that from Coca-Cola we have been able to reduce the number of plastics that we use in our packaging as much as about 30 per cent, the weight has been reduced by 17 per cent if you calculate,” he said.
The exercise was organised in collaboration with the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly (LEKMA) and SesA, a social enterprise, focused on reducing plastic pollution.
It saw the staff of Coca-Cola at the forefront of the exercise, going into the community to aid residents to collect plastics and cans.
Mr Yeboah called for attitudinal change among citizens to ensure that the plastic waste menace was addressed, adding that beverage producing companies must also make a conscious effort to reduce the number of plastics they use in production.
He also urged the government to set up waste segregation facilities in the various landfill sites to ensure that plastic wastes were properly separated to facilitate the recycling process.
Mr Christopher Gyan-Mensah, the Director of Operations SeSA, said his outfit, since January this year, had collected 132,626kg of plastic waste and 128kg of aluminium.
He bemoaned the inadequacy of recycling machines to process the large tons of waste, a situation he explained compelled them to export the waste, which affected their income due to the high shipping fee.
He appealed to the government to create a space where all collected plastic waste would be segregated and kept for recycling.
SeSA paid the residents GHS2 per kilogramme of cans, 50 pesewas for a kilogramme of PET bottles and GHS1 per kilogramme of plastic sachets.
Mr Yaw Adusei, Waste Management Officer at LEKMA, said the Municipality would continue to grapple with plastic waste despite authorities’ efforts to curb the trend.
He urged community members to desist from throwing plastic wastes around and rather keep them to exchange them for cash.
A plastic waste picket, Julianna Cabo in an interview with the Daily Graphic praised Coca Cola for helping the residents to rid their community of plastic waste.
She said as a Junior High School student, the monetary reward was an added bonus that serves as an incentive to consciously rid Ledzokuku of plastic waste.
Source: Graphic Online