Coca-Cola accelerates towards reducing its plastic waste, carbon footprint

From left to right: Siobhan Das (AMCHAM), Kirsten van Zandwijk (The Coca-Cola Company), Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad (Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change), Khairul Anwar Ab. Gahani (Coca-Cola Bottlers Malaysia), and Roberto Benetello (MAREA), served as keynote speakers for Coca-Cola Malaysia’s AMCHAM Spotlight Session to drive circular economy in Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16:  – Accelerating its plans towards reducing plastic waste, cutting down on its carbon footprint and embracing the circular economy will be the way forward for Coca-Cola Company including in Malaysia, said its key officers at a recent forum – Our Future, Our Choice – Sustainability Forum – which focused on the transition to circularity for plastic packaging in Malaysia.

Organised in association with the American Malaysian Chamber Of Commerce (AMCHAM Malaysia), keynote speakers at the event highlighted sustainability efforts as well as the challenges faced towards the transition to circularity for plastic packaging. A key partner for Coca-Cola, Malaysian Recycling Alliance (MAREA), also participated in the forum.

Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who officiated the event, commended the efforts taken by Coca Cola, saying that it was in synch with Malaysia’s shift towards a circular economy.

“Our shift towards a circular economy is not just a policy initiative; it’s a systemic move towards resilience, sustainability, and a brighter future. Our commitment, as reflected in our national policies, signifies our determination to efficiently use resources, reduce waste, and minimise environmental impact. It’s a shared responsibility, and initiatives like Coca-Cola’s dedication to innovative packaging solutions play a vital role in supporting our journey towards a circular economy.”

The Coca-Cola Company’s Director for Sustainability and Partnerships (Asean and South Pacific), Kirsten van Zandwijk spoke of the company’s “World Without Waste” initiative and other efforts aimed at sustainable packgaging efforts worldwide, with the push for recyling their plastic bottles.

She said that while partnerships and strategic alliances would be crucial to ensure the success of the company’s global target of reducing its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2030, the company was also ready to go alone where it has to move fast, adding that Coca-Cola was already directly investing in recycling and collection progammes among other efforts.

“”At Coca-Cola, we recognize the urgency and complexity of the plastic waste challenge in Malaysia. No single entity can overcome this challenge alone. Inspired by the circular economy model, we constantly leverage resources to eliminate waste and tackle climate problems caused by packaging.”

Coca-Cola Bottlers Malaysia’s Communications and Sustainability Director, Khairul Anwar Ab. Gahani raised some of the challenges faced in the collection of the used beverage bottles and the need for greater awareness among the people in the transition towards a circular economy.

He said responsible disposal of post consumer packaging was all the more crucial now with the value they hold. The earlier and better the segregation of waste, the easier it will be for recyclers to collect re-usable items and transform them into another packaging, driving towards the full circular economy for packaging materials and to prevent these potentially high valued commodities from ending up in the landfield.