Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Uganda has today hosted Dr. Elly Twineyo Kamugisha, the Executive Director of Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB), at the Plastic Recycling Industries Nakawa, where the company recycles plastic waste.
Simon Kaheru, the Director Public Affairs and Communications who spoke on behalf of CCBA Uganda said the company is committed to environmental stewardship.
“As a responsible company, we focus on constantly reducing the impact of our packaging on the environment through the light weighting of our packaging material and supporting recycling efforts. In Uganda, we were the first company to construct PET collection centers across the entire country when we first launched plastic packaging in 2010. Right now, our recycling plant here in Nakawa collects between 7- 10 tonnes of plastic per day, ridding the environment over 300 tonnes of plastic per month. Through our processes, we are able to create employment for over 1500 Ugandans especially the urban poor,” Kaheru said.
According to Kaheru, 80% of the collectors are women who earn at least about $17 per week.
“We also export the flake which is the end result of our recycling process, and earn the country the much-needed foreign exchange,” Kaheru further noted.
He pointed out to Dr. Twineyo the current challenge to the plastic recycling industry, citing the changing landscape of plastic imports in the Western World as well as China, which was the biggest consumer of plastic waste, and urged the UEPB to explore ways of supporting the recycling efforts.
In response, the UEPB Executive Director Dr. Twineyo pledged to spearhead a discussion with government over installing an extruder at PRI. “Coca-Cola group is doing a good job collecting waste that would be clogging our water ways and soils. They are also creating jobs and adding value to waste while doing this,” he said.
Not only does Plastic Recycling Industries recycle plastic, but water as well and uses 90% of it back into the system.
“This is really impressive and as UEPB, we shall support them to get to the next level” he added.
Dr. Twineyo was also amazed at the value chain and the number of people that are touched along the way in a sustainable manner.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa has been investing in Africa for 90 years, since 1928 and is proud to be present in every African country with over 70,000 employees across 145 bottling and canning facilities.
The company has a presence in 9 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Mayotte and the Comoros.
Swaziland, Botswana and Zambia will be integrated into CCBA’s operations in the second phase.