MEXICO CITY -- The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners in Mexico this week announced a joint, six-year investment of $8.2 billion at a ceremony commemorating the world's largest food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-to-bottle recycling plant.

The investment, which will be made from 2014 to 2020, will boost Coke's infrastructure and production capacity in Mexico, create more jobs and drive innovation to continue expanding our beverage portfolio. This investment also will help develop new environmentally sustainable technologies and expand various social and community projects, with a special focus on promoting physical activity and well-being. It will bring the Coca-Cola system's total investment this decade to more than $12.4 billion.

Francisco Crespo, president of Coca-Cola Mexico, made the announcement during the inauguration ceremony of the PetStar recycling plant, which doubles its previous processing capacity to 65,000 tons of PET bottles per year. The Coca-Cola system invested more than $100 million to expand the facility.

“Coca-Cola has a long-term business plan and vision, based on our permanent investment commitment,” Crespo said. “We, as a system, have been investing an average of US$1 billion every year for the past 10 years, and we are reaffirming this commitment until 2020. This investment is our way of promoting economic growth and the sustainable development of the country, while we continue to support the creation of strategies to promote the integral well-being of the population." 

Coca-Cola, which has operated in Mexico for 88 years, is one of the country's largest employers, generating more than 90,000 direct jobs and 800,000 indirect jobs.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto helped Coca-Cola open the expansion of the plant, which positions Coca-Cola as the leader in food-grade recycling in Latin America. Through PetStar, Coca-Cola bottling partners Arca Continental, Bepensa, Grupo RICA, Corporación del Fuerte, Embotelladora de Colima and Embotelladora del Nayarrecycle will recycle 70 percent of the PET bottles used in their markets.

"This investment demonstrates that we are going in the right direction, we are generating the interest of investors and developing trust," Nieto said. "And that, undoubtedly, will be reflected in job creation and conditions of greater well-being for all Mexicans."

“This important project is part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to the integral well-being of communities through the elaboration of environmentally friendly packages,” said Crespo. “Thanks to PetStar, we are contributing to our global goal of incorporating recycled material in all our packages, and today, millions of them are produced with up to 100 percent recycled material,” he stated.

PetStar generates 1,100 direct jobs and 24,000 indirect jobs in Mexico. Francisco Garza Egloff, general director, Arca Continental, said the facility affirms Coca-Cola Mexico’s commitment to the integral development of the country and the preservation of our environment.

“Sustainability is part of our long-term business strategy because we want to leave a positive footprint in communities, as well as actively participate in the integral development of society. Apart from making an important environmental, social and economic impact, PetStar incorporates a cultural and educational project, since we are trying to become agents of change for present and future generations,” he said.

PetStar will offer guided tours to promote environmental education, recycling and shared responsibility between society, authorities and enterprises. This space is environmentally friendly, has its own water harvesting and treatment systems, solar panels, green roof among other elements, and is in the process of obtaining LEED certification as a sustainable building.

For more than four decades, the Coca-Cola system has supported the recycling industry. That is why today, millions of PET bottles are made with up to 100 percent of recycled material. The PetStar plant is a clear demonstration of the Coca-Cola system’s commitment to the environment in Mexico. We are proud to contribute to the economic and technological development of the country and look forward to working with others to make a better environment – both naturally and economically – for future generations.