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Logistics giant DHL joins Coca-Cola bottler to boost recycling

Kampala: Plastic waste recycling in Uganda has been given a boost after leading logistics company DHL International (Uganda) signed a partnership with Plastic Recycling Industries, an initiative of Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU), to supply it with plastic waste.

Samuel Kangave, Manager of Plastic Recycling Industries, emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainable waste management and called on more corporate companies to partner with them.

“We are committed to building a circular economy throughout our operations. Increasing waste circularity has environmental and economic benefits since recycling has the potential to create over 50 times as many jobs as landfills and incinerators. Thousands involved in the different stages of plastic recycling are benefiting especially women and youth. We are happy to have DHL on board since we share similar aspirations – better waste management. I invite more private sector players to join us. Let us partner to create the future we want,” he said.

Although demand for recycled plastic continues to accelerate – driven, in part, by a commitment from brand owners to incorporate recycled content into their products, Uganda’s recycling rate remains very low as indicated by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) report.

“At CCBA, we are a proud industry leader in developing increasingly sustainable ways to manufacture, distribute and sell our products,” said Melkamu Abebe, general manager of the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa subsidiary in Uganda, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda.“We use our industry leadership to be part of the solution to achieve positive change in the world and to build a more sustainable future for our planet.

“Regardless of where it comes from, we want every package to have more than one life,” said Abebe.

As part of its responsibility to help address this challenge, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda, together with The Coca-Cola Company, has set ambitious goals to help collect a bottle or can for everyone it produces by 2030, use 50% recycled content in all packaging and make 25% of its packaging reusable by the same year, while making all its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.

The initiative, called World Without Waste, relies on partnerships with customers, consumers, communities, industry and governments to succeed.With many initiatives underway across the company, a few recent highlights include the move to clear Sprite PET in six markets which makes it much easier to recycle and has greater value as a recyclable material. Another milestone is the extension of the PETCO model, which is based on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility, to three additional markets since its inception in South Africa.

The company started using returnable 2L PET in South Africa with the view to rolling this out to other markets.In Uganda, CCBU, through Plastic Recycling Industries (PRI) has previously partnered with the local council, and recycling companies such as Asante waste management, Eoplastile, Aquila Investments and Fenghuang to facilitate community waste collection.

Joseph Odole, Country Manager, DHL International (Uganda) Limited, said: “Sustainability is a clear business priority for DHL and our goal is to reduce all logistics-related CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. Through innovation and efficiency in logistics processes and transport, DHL is significantly reducing the burden on the environment. Additionally, DHL Express is a pioneer in ‘green’ logistics, as we were the first global logistics company to set a quantifiable climate protection target, back in 2008. Since then, we have made incredible strides and earlier this year, we launched our new sustainability roadmap. We are delighted to collaborate with Coca Cola who are equally invested in building a more sustainable future for Uganda.”

“Plastic especially PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a long-life product, made from materials engineered to be robust, reliable and recyclable. We are committed to maximising the use of post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content in products without compromising the quality of products,” Samuel added.

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