Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Fiji (CCEPF) General Manager, Roger Hare, says being able to turn PET plastic bottles into flakes significantly reduces the cost of shipping the material offshore as the flake takes up a lot less room in a container than bales.
Hare says Packaging waste is undoubtedly a major challenge but it’s also a solvable one if they take action, helping to collect and recycle all the plastic bottles they bring to the market so that they can be used again and again, and they can further reduce their overall use of new plastic.
He further says they are looking at ways to make it easier and more attractive for Fijians to recycle to really try to drive up the number of bottles collected.
The General Manager says collectors are paid a collection refund for returned bottles and cans in Fiji.
He further says a number of contractors have worked with them to extend their collection services to PET bottles with consumers being paid 5cents for every bottle they return an incentive when they bring their PET bottles to the trucks at the same time as the glass bottles.
Hare says as part of their commitment to increase the amount of PET plastic bottles that are recycled, Coca-Cola in Fiji has purchased a granulator to turn the bottles into plastic flake.
He further says the granulator, is one of the first to be operational in the Pacific Islands and is situated at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Fiji’s (CCEPF) factory site in Suva where the bottle buyback scheme Mission Pacific operates. Up until now, PET bottles have been turned into bales before being shipped in containers offshore.
The General Manager says they know the increasing collection is driven by three things - convenience, accessibility and incentive.
He also says the first initiative has been to pilot working with CCEPF’s sister company Paradise Beverages on the home collection of PET bottles together with glass beer bottles.
He adds another new initiative is increasing the number of collection points for people to bring their bottles back to using mobile caravans last year Mission Pacific collected and shipped 140 tonnes of PET offshore for recycling.
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