Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is preparing to launch its 2L returnable bottle, also known as refillable PET or RefPET, in KwaZulu-Natal as it broadens efforts to reduce environmental waste.
Since 2019, CCBSA has launched the RefPET bottle in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North-West, Mpumalanga and parts of the Free State, and plans to further expand this offering in KZN to not only offer consumers value for money but to also play a role in driving sustainability.
“We have already launched RefPET in various provinces and are excited to be introducing the 2L returnables to the KZN market,” said Nokwanda Shabalala, CCBSA’s regional general manager for coastal region.
To help educate consumers about this sustainable reusable packaging, CCBSA brand ambassadors will be in select areas in KZN, going door-to-door showing the new RefPET packs and the value it holds for customers and the environment.
The returnable PET bottles are identifiable by a new paper label, with ‘RETURNABLE’ appearing in green on the front of the bottle.
To drive awareness among communities and households, the company will give each household a 2L RefPET sample bottle that they can exchange for a deposit when they buy any of the products available in a 2L RefPET from a local retail outlet.
Residents of the communities in which the campaign is being rolled out are encouraged to receive their free RefPet bottle per household from the CCBSA area representative.
Towards a 'World Without Waste'
CCBSA is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), and a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company. This innovation is part of the Coca-Cola Company’s global World Without Waste Vision 2030, which together with its bottlers has committed to help collect a bottle or can for every single one it sells 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.
Shabalala said that CCBSA is well on its way to achieving this vision and that the consumer response to the new 2L returnable PET bottles has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Where we have launched RefPET, we have seen consumers switching to purchasing the returnable 2L bottles and returning them after consumption. Our vision and annual targets are ambitious, but our results have shown us that it is possible to make a meaningful contribution towards helping create a waste-free planet,” adds Shabalala.
The recommended retail price for the 2L Coca-Cola Original Taste – Less Sugar beverage is R17 which excludes a R9 deposit. Other brands, like Coca-Cola No Sugar, Sprite, Fanta and Stoney are also available in the new 2L returnable PET plastic bottle at a recommended retail price of R14 excluding the R9 deposit. This means a saving of around R9 per bottle, depending on where a customer purchases their beverage.
Once a bottle is returned to CCBSA, it goes on a looped journey to be cleaned in accordance with Coca-Cola’s stringent measures and requirements, then refilled to start its next lifecycle. When the bottle reaches the end of its useable lifecycle, it joins the recycling value chain and is repurposed into another PET product. One RefPET bottle can be used multiple times, and this extends the life of a bottle and reduces plastic waste that would end up in a landfill.
To keep the integrity of the bottle intact and suitable for recycling, CCBSA further urges consumers to not store foreign liquids such as paraffin, in the returnable bottles.