With another World Economic Forum Annual Meeting complete, I continue to reflect on the headway we’ve made since launching our World Without Waste initiative in Davos one year ago.
We’re making progress. For instance, our global recovery rate is now at 59%. In some countries we are using more than 25% recycled materials in our bottles and cans. And in four countries, we developed a plastic bottle made from 100% recycled material. While we continue to work toward our goals, we are inspired by others working to find solutions, too. The momentum exists, but it’s clear no one can do this alone. This collective challenge is immense, and for real change to occur, it will take companies, governments, and NGOs to come together.
That’s why we recently announced we’re inviting other companies to access our PlantBottle technology, so it will be broadly available, including to our competitors. As the world’s first, fully-recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, PlantBottle is a game changer. This will help put more bioplastics in packaging across different industries to show the true impact PlantBottle can have.
We’re also building long-term partnerships, like with the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership, which works toward eliminating plastic pollution by building a circular economy.
And we’re investing in partners like Circulate Capital, which helps small companies with a big vision bring it to life. In October, Circulate Capital announced the creation of The Ocean Fund, a $90 million effort to address the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans and environment funded by Danone, Dow, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Coca‑Cola.
Our investments also include dedicated R&D to explore ways to make recycling better and more accessible in more places.
Late last year, we announced two recycling investments. We’re working with Loop Industries, Inc. to accelerate the use of recycled content and PET in our plastic bottles and we’ve invested in Ioniqa Technologies, a company that upcycles PET to give the material a more useful life.
These are just some of the ways working together has made a difference on our journey to a world without waste.
Now, just imagine if we all put our expertise and resources into solving this problem together. If we all worked to keep packaging out of places where it doesn’t belong. If we didn’t think of this as one person’s problem—but everyone’s shared responsibility.
Suddenly, a world without waste is possible.
James Quincey is president, CEO and chairman-elect at The Coca‑Cola Company.