Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 16 (ANI): Coca-Cola India and Reliance Retail have collaborated on a groundbreaking sustainability initiative, ‘Bhool Na Jana, Plastic Bottle Lautana,’ which focuses on used PET bottle collection and recycling through Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) and collection bins.
According to a press release, the pilot project, in line with the Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission and envisioning a circular economy, has commenced in 36 Reliance Retail stores, including Smart Bazaar and Sahakari Bhandar outlets in Mumbai and Delhi.
The initiative is set to expand to 200 Reliance Retail stores nationwide by 2025, with a goal of collecting 5,00,000 PET bottles annually during the pilot phase, the release said.
The launch event, held at Reliance Retail’s Smart Bazaar store in Santa Cruz, saw the presence of Kazi Irfan, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Solid Waste Management, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
As part of the initiative, Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) and collection bins will be installed in the participating stores, providing consumers with a convenient method to deposit used PET bottles.
In return, consumers will receive attractive discounts on Coca-Cola India products. The collected PET bottles will be responsibly managed and recycled by Reliance Industries (RIL), a leader in polyester and plastics recycling.
Damodar Mall, Chief Executive Officer, Grocery Retail, Reliance Retail Limited, highlighted the cultural inclination of Indian families to recycle, stating “Indian families have had the habit of not trashing milk pouches, plastic bottles, even newspapers, daily. We clean, collect them, and hand them over to raddiwalas (scrap dealers), who in today’s world are the unique front-end army of recyclers.”
He added, “SmartBazaar, as a modern retailer continues to encourage this habit, with modern methods. Our pilot with our store shoppers, with the support of Coca-Cola India and Reliance Industries, is one such attempt we plan to pursue with our wide network of stores.”
Greishma Singh, Vice President – Customer and Commercial Leadership, Coca Cola India and Southwest Asia said, “Through this partnership and platform, we are delighted that we can generate awareness and give shoppers a convenient and engaging way to recycle their PET bottles in return for compelling offers while they are shopping at Reliance stores. Partnerships such as this one built around consumer-centric ideas, we believe, can be a powerful multiplier for progress on collection, recycling, and reuse.”
He added, “Partnerships with retail, government, civic societies, and consumer-centric ideas like this one are a powerful multiplier for progress on collection, recycling, and reuse.”
Hemant D Sharma, President – Growth and Strategy, Polyester, Reliance Industries Limited, emphasized Reliance’s commitment to sustainability and circularity, stating, “Reliance stands as a trailblazer in sustainability and circularity, leading India’s charge in transforming waste into valuable resources”.
He added, “Recycling 2 billion PET bottles annually, with a plan to scale it to 5 billion, RIL epitomizes a commitment to sustainability that predates current trends and sets the standard for eco-friendly manufacturing. For over two decades, RIL has championed recycling postconsumer PET bottles, demonstrating a foresighted dedication to a greener, circular future.”
This initiative aligns with Coca-Cola’s global commitment to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 per cent of the packaging it produces, as part of its World Without Waste strategy.
It builds upon the success of Coca-Cola India’s ‘Return and Recycle’ initiative in collaboration with Zepto, engaging 50,000 households in India and installing RVMs across 75 cities, successfully collecting 1 tonne of PET waste.
The collaborative effort aims to reinforce sustainability practices, encourage responsible waste management, and contribute to a cleaner environment. (ANI)