GENSHAGEN, GERMANY -- Ninety-nine percent. It's a statistic Karolin Övünc is especially proud of, and for good reason. She points to a board hanging above containers filled with reusable materials that reads: “Everything has value.”
Coca-Cola has been producing beverages at Genshagen near Berlin in the district of Teltow-Fläming, since 1998. The plant is one of the most modern in Germany, and one of the most efficient in the world when it comes to sustainable water use.
As with all
But good is sometimes not good enough.
Her goal? To further optimize the recovery of reusable materials left over after production. Since then, Övünc has identified more than 50 reusable materials, including four types of paper and eight types of foil and plastics. There are more than 300 containers for reusable materials on site, and 99 percent of all production waste is recycled or upcycled.
Övünc and the entire plant team are proud of these figures, which have been certified by the independent environmental institute, bifa.
Increasing the responsible treatment of renewable and reusable resources is a key sustainabiliy focus for
“We have already achieved a great deal,” says Sapiro. “But our aim is to require even less raw materials, possibly none at all.”
Coca-Cola produces and fills up to 76,000 bottles an hour in Genshagen, around 250 million per year. When Övünc started the project to find alternative recyclable materials, there was one sentence that she heard particularly often from suppliers and disposal companies: “No one has ever asked that.”
In the future, this process for optimizing the recycling of reusable materials will be adopted by other