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Monday 3 August, 2020

Coca Cola committed to environmental sustainability in T&T

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

As Trinidad and Tobago continues to experience intense drought conditions, global soft drink company Coca Cola said it remains committed toward providing sustainable environmental solutions in the countries in which it operates. 

The company recently assisted with a water retention project in Cumana after the existing infrastructure was damaged by devastating flooding in 2018. 

Walewska Miguel, Coca Cola's Senior Manager for Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability for the Caribbean and Venezuela, said the company strives to benefit affected communities such as these around the globe. 

“We’re striving to achieve water neutrality, so for every litre of water we use for our products, we give this back to the environment through programmes such as reforestation and other rehabilitative projects.

“We’re ensuring that our water sources will be there for a very long time. Water access is an issue, we know there are communities where access to water has become very critical. We we’re developing along with NGOs and local programmes to ensure that vulnerable communities have access to drinking water,” she said.

The company also donated $150,000 through the Red Cross to assist communities devastated by flooding in Trinidad.

The company is also working hard towards making all of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and to have 50 percent of its packaging made from recyclable material by 2030.

Currently, DASANI®, which is sold in Trinidad and Tobago, has revolutionized its bottle, which is now 30 percent plant-based and still 100 percent recyclable.

By using recyclable PET plastic partially sourced from plants, PlantBottle® packaging is helping reduce consumers' environmental impact.

“We’re working on sustainable packaging, it has become a complex problem all over the world, for many reasons.”

“We want to go a step further to ensure not only that it doesn’t end up in the river or beach, but that that bottle has a second life, what we call a circular economy.”

“Each package that we produce, whether it be can or plastic or glass, has a possibility of being used again, either for our own production processes or for another industry.”

“We’re working every day to make sure that all the components of our packages are recyclable. We have this objective for 2030 that 100 percent of all our materials for packages have to be recyclable.

“We have a goal that for 2025, 50 percent of the materials that we use for our PET models comes from recycled material.”

She added that there is also an effort to provide the public with education on the proper waste disposal and recycling methods, which they are also committed to assisting with in Trinidad and Tobago.


5by20TM: Empowering 500 million women

Miguel said the company has also created a mandate to help bring about positive change through its campaign #5by20, a project aimed at empowering 500 million worldwide.

“We have this goal of empowering 500 million women by next year, it’s a very challenging goal, it’s a programme that brings skills to women in vulnerable conditions, to make sure that they can better their conditions," she said.

The project entails assisting women in helping to bring their families out of poverty and give them skills while incorporating them within the value chain of Coca Cola, whether within the company or as suppliers.

Sanjay Jagrup, Health, Safety and Environment Manager for Caribbean Bottlers Trinidad and Tobago, said that his company is also committed to a sustainable future for Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information on Coca Cola’s sustainability initiatives visit: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/sustainability

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