Don’t throw out your plastic Coke bottles – you may be able to return them and get your deposit back…

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is rolling out the 2L returnable PET bottles across Northern Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga after it was initially piloted in the Eastern Cape. Consumers could save up to R7 per bottle of their favourite beverage depending on where it is purchased.

It’s not just Coke, you will be able to receive a deposit on the following products in 2L bottles – just check for the RETURNABLE label printed in a green strip on the front of the bottle:

  • 2L Coca-Cola Original Taste – Less Sugar (Recommended retail price is R15, which excludes a R9 deposit)
  • Coca-Cola No Sugar
  • Sprite (Recommended retail price is R12, excluding R9 deposit)
  • Fanta

“We have seen customers in the Eastern Cape opting to switch over to purchasing the returnable 2L bottles and returning them after consumption,” says Velaphi Ratshefola, Managing Director of CCBSA.

Returnable bottles:
Returnable bottles:

World Without Waste

Returnable PET is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste vision that aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can that it sells globally by 2030. This focuses on the entire packaging value chain, from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re collected, recycled and reused later.

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“We’re committed to increasing recycled material in our packaging and ensuring more packaging is collected and recycled. The roll-out of returnable PET plastic bottles is another way we can support a circular economy in South Africa,” says Ratshefola.

What happens to the returned bottles?

Once a bottle is returned to Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, it will go on a looped journey to be cleaned to Coca-Cola’s stringent measures and requirements, then refilled to start its next lifecycle.  When the bottle reaches the end of its useable lifecycle, it joins the recycling value chain and is repurposed into another PET product.

According to the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), 62% of PET bottles were collected after use and recycled in South Africa last year. The Coca-Cola system in South Africa currently uses an average of 8% recycled content in its plastic bottles in South Africa – the more bottles that are collected and recycled, the more recycled content the company can use in its bottles.

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