Circular Economy

Coca-Cola and CitizenBlue partner to tackle drink container recycling in NSW

In a new partnership, Coca-Cola Australia and CitizenBlue are coming together to create new solutions to NSW’s waste challenge and introduce more drink container recycling options at venues and events in Sydney and regional NSW.

CitizenBlue is a social enterprise collective of seven environmental not-for-profit organisations, including the Total EnvironmentCentre, Surfrider Foundation and Landcare NSW.

The partnership with Coca-Cola will see drink container recycling bins strategically placed in key venues and events across NSW, with proceeds of the waste collected going back to environment and community charities.

“We’re on a mission to stop waste from entering our waterways and Coca-Cola has a big goal to ensure that every drink bottle sold is collected and recycled,” said CitizenBlue’s Jeff Angel.

“This partnership is a first step towards both not-for-profit groups and a major beverage leader working together to tackle our waste issue.We are both part of the solution.”

At the events and venues CitizenBlue is operating at, members of the public can drop their plastic or glass bottles, or aluminium cans into a CitizenBlue/Coca-Cola recycling bin.

The waste is then collected and sorted through the NSWReturn and Earn Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), and then recycled and transformed to enable the creation of new products, including bottles and cans.

The NSW government reported a 44 per cent drop in Return andEarn eligible drink containers in the litter stream since November 2017. This initiative is designed to help enhance the Scheme and turn existing waste into community money, with proceeds of the collected containers donated to a charity partner or choice, determined by the venue and event operators at each location.

The event and venue bins supported by Coca-Cola are expected to help collect around 7.5 million containers per annum.

“Our aim is for these activities to enhance and promote existing recycling efforts through the CDS in NSW,” said Susie Crick, chairperson of the Surfrider Foundation Australia.

“More organisations and businesses coming together to find solutions to tackle waste and recycling is better for the environment, the sector, not to mention a funding boost for charities.”

This partnership forms part of Coca-Cola’s recently announced global sustainable packaging strategy, including a bold goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 per cent of the packaging they sell by 2030.

“Locally, we are focusing our efforts on designing packaging to be 100 per cent recyclable across our entire portfolio and increasing the recycled content we use in our packaging,” said Christine Black, director public affairs and sustainability at Coca-Cola South Pacific.

“This partnership is part of the next step for Coca-Cola in tackling drink container waste, whilst inspiring positive change to ensure our bottles and cans have another life beyond their first use.”

The Coca-Cola CitizenBlue collection bins are expected to roll-out in the early new year at festivals and venues in NSW. Upcoming events CitizenBlue will be operating at include Lost Paradise in Glenworth Valley and Last Dance in Bulli.