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Need to scale up waste collection rates revealed as Coca-Cola pushes recycling

Date: 2018-06-07

News Type: Expo News



Less littering as well as segregation of plastic bottles and aluminium cans are both essential for Myanmar to tackle pollution and secure a better environment.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Myanmar has launched a nationwide recycling awareness campaign called “Tan Bo Shi Tal” to encourage public awareness and action on recycling. This initiative is based on a study by Gone Adventurin, a circular economy-focused action and advisory firm, which argued that two of the biggest areas that can have the most dramatic impacts on reducing the leakage of plastic bottles into the environment are through combating littering in public places and increasing plastic bottle and aluminium segregation at homes and businesses. Through these individual and collective actions, communities in Myanmar would see many tangible benefits and would make substantial progress toward eliminating the leakage of plastic bottles into the country’s waterways, landfills and environment.


“Tan Bo Shi Tal” literally means “it has value” and colloquially “it’s worth it” in Myanmar language. Coca-Cola said the company aims to raise awareness of the importance and value of recycling and encourage people across the country to participate. The campaign highlights the importance of bottle and can segregation at all levels, from home to retail, and while on-the-go. It will come to life through consumer and public awareness initiatives, and on-ground activities, such as recycling bin installations and other activations. 


“The promise of ‘Tan Bo Shi Tal’ is meant to be a banner that any Myanmar organisation - public or private -can use to raise awareness on the value of plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and why it’s worth it to take the extra time to recycle,” the firm stated in a press statement. At the foundation is the belief that recyclable materials should be used and reused to have more than one life and to provide ongoing value beyond their initial use.

“‘Tan Bo Shi Tal’ activities will expand over time, beginning with the core focus on raising awareness that taking time to recycle is worth it, because simple actions such as segregating your waste and not littering means doing something good for ourselves, others and Myanmar,” Rehan Khan, general manager of Coca-Cola Myanmar said.

Currently, there are many opportunities for businesses and individuals to get involved and support the informal recycling sector and the many people who rely on that system to make a living. By segregating their recyclable materials like plastic bottles and aluminium cans, businesses, households and individuals on-the-go can create real financial value for collectors, as clean plastic is worth more than plastic that has been contaminated with trash. Uncollected recyclables often pile up and become a blot on the landscape among towns and temples as well as roads and rivers.

“As we continue expanding our programmes and efforts, we see the biggest opportunity to make a long-term difference as working together across sectors – industry, government, NGOs and the public – who share our vision of a Myanmar free from plastic pollution,” Mr Khan went on.

The Coca-Cola-commissioned Gone Adventurin report details the current packaging collection and recycling infrastructure and material flows of PET and aluminium in Yangon and Mandalay. The study reveals that PET bottle and aluminium collection rates are some of the highest in Southeast Asia. For example, Yangon collects 74pc of its post-consumer plastic PET bottles and 86pc of its aluminium cans, and Mandalay 83pc of bottles and 91pc of cans. 

Despite the good news, these rates will come under pressure with a rising middle class, per capita GDP and consumption rates, as there would be a need for more incentives and value around the informal collection of recyclable material. The report also indicates that only 13pc of households reportedly segregate their waste,. Most of them still mix together food waste, recyclables and other materials. This signals an urgent need to rapidly scale up collection rates in the country.

Coca-Cola in Myanmar is also collaborating with the “Doh Eain” to deliver a garden alleyway revitalisation project and with the domestic social enterprise Hla Day to produce artisan crafts made from recycled Coca-Cola materials. These are in line with the firm’s recently launched packaging initiative “World Without Waste.”

The company’s global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells by 2030 – focuses on the entire packaging lifecycle, from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re collected, recycled and repurposed. 

“To help improve recycling rates, Coca-Cola will apply its global marketing expertise to help educate the public on what, how and where to recycle. Around the world, the company will continue to team with local communities, NGOs, industry peers and consumers to help make recycling easier and more accessible for everyone by improving local recycling systems and driving policy change that supports a truly circular economy,” Coca-Cola explained in a statement.


Read more at: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/need-scale-waste-collection-rates-revealed-coca-cola-pushes-recycling.html


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