In Mexico, six out of every 10 Coca-Cola bottles are recycled, and the rest of the brand’s drinks. And while the circle of reduce, recycle and reuse is gaining strength in Mexico, the Mexican Coca-Cola Industry (IMCC) seeks to increase waste collection from consumers’ homes amid a rise in PET.
To close this clamp of circularity with a focus on waste recovery, the Coca-Cola bottlers in Mexico, including Femsa and Arca Continental, formed an alliance with Rappi Mexico, so that their distributors become the link that connects consumers who seek to recycle PET and other containers to waste collection centers.
As the beginning of this alliance, the companies will run a pilot project, from September to December, so that Rappi users who live in the Benito Juárez, Cuauhtémoc and Miguel Hidalgo municipalities have the possibility of scheduling the collection of PET containers and other recyclable materials, such as cardboard, tetrapack, glass and aluminum, which will be taken to a collection center to integrate them into the recycling chain of the Coca-Cola system, in the plants of PetStar and the Mexican Recycling Industry (IMER).
Sergio Londoño, Vice President of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability of Coca-Cola Mexico, details in an interview with Expansión that within the company they sought to offer people a simpler option for collecting containers, and they thought of Rappi, the company of delivery whose infrastructure is the one used so that a Recicla partner is in charge of receiving the waste and delivering it to a collection center.
“For national holidays, the Guadalupe-Reyes and everything that is in this last quarter is a propitious moment to evaluate the scalability of the pilot”, adds the manager.
To start encouraging users of the delivery application to schedule the delivery of their containers, the application will send a notification to those who are in these municipalities, where they will explain the conditions under which they have to deliver the containers, the minimum quantities to deliver and the frequency of collection.
The PET collection rate at the national level is 53% of which the IMCC contributes 25% of the total. The companies that make up the IMCC have the goal of collecting and recycling the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2030, in line with the sustainable objectives of the soft drink company.
In Mexico, the recycling rate was 9.6% in 2021, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an organization that has emphasized that one of the factors to reduce waste pollution is to improve the waste management and increase recycling, and this requires raising recovery rates.
“The more containers and PET we collect, the sooner we will reach the goals, but also the more and in a better way we impact the planet because it will allow us to continue incorporating recycled resins into our products,” says Londoño.
Recycling in times of high inflation
Arca Continental and Femsa, the two largest bottlers that have been part of the Mexican Coca-Cola Industry since last year, face the high cost of raw materials, including PET, a key raw material for the manufacture of Coca-Cola containers. beverages. This situation, which has intensified in recent months, has led companies to raise their prices to the public to protect their profitability.
They are not the only movements. Arca Continental, which is headquartered in the city of Monterrey, invested 3,470 million pesos during the second half of 2022 for the acquisition of coolers and returnable containers. With the increases in raw materials, the company reported an 18.9% rise in the cost of sales from April to June of this year.
Coca-Cola Femsa, separately, detailed in its financial statement that its cost of sales in the second half was 32,039, an increase of 27% compared to the same period of the previous year.
For now, the IMCC shares that of the entire portfolio of its products, 37% of the packaging is recycled material and the goal is to reach 50% by 2030. Meanwhile, Ciel water is already packaged in a fully recycled bottle. The industry also changed the color of the Sprite bottle to white to make recycling easier.
As part of the actions in sustainability, IMCC from the year and until the next three years will execute an investment of 11,000 million pesos, although the manager did not detail the projects to which the resources will be allocated.
“We believe that we are strengthening the recycling chain to have a truly circular economy. It is a recovery that generates a productive spill in the people who work in the recycling chain and that waste enters a transformation that allows it to return to the general economy”, concludes Londoño.