Working with others to transform recycling

Case study

Our long-term commitment is to make our packaging as sustainable as possible at every stage of its life cycle. Increasing our use of recycled materials – and making it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle our packaging after use – is vital to achieving our packaging ambitions, as described on page 55 of our Annual Report.

But with any material, our ability to contribute to a recycling culture is heavily influenced by the available local infrastructure. In some of the places where we operate, consumers have few options to recycle, or none. The only way to change this is to work with others, which makes our partnerships very important.

The Glass is Good initiative in Brazil is a great example. It brings together the entire glass production chain, from glass packaging manufacturers to commercial establishments to major beverage companies, to support the work of local recycling cooperatives. Since 2010, it has enabled 27,000 tonnes of glass to be recycled – equivalent to approximately 50 million one-litre vodka bottles. We are very pleased that this year, other alcohol companies joined us in this effort.

It is this sort of collaborative thinking that we want to expand elsewhere, and to other materials. So in 2019 we co-founded the Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance, which aims to drive collective action by some of the biggest consumer goods businesses to address plastics waste, while creating economic opportunities through better recycling and reprocessing infrastructure. It is early days, but by sharing knowledge, encouraging innovation, and collaborating on technical and other solutions appropriate for Sub-Saharan Africa, we believe we can make a real impact – and ensure that our products are not just enjoyable, but sustainably packaged.