The Coca-Cola Company and The Ocean Cleanup Join Forces in Vietnam to Tackle Plastic Pollution
The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor™ to launch in the Mekong Delta region as part of a global partnership
Ho Chi Minh City, 11 January 2022 – Coca-Cola Vietnam and The Ocean Cleanup today announced that the Can Tho river in Can Tho City has been selected as one of 15 river locations around the world as part of a global partnership between the two organizations to use advanced technology to help stem the tide of plastic pollution entering oceans, by first intercepting and cleaning up waste in rivers.
In 2021, The Coca-Cola Company became a global implementation partner for The Ocean Cleanup’s river project. The partnership brings the beverage company and the technological non-profit organization together in an exciting partnership to help clean up some of the world’s major rivers.
In addition to supporting the deployment of cleanup systems, the partnership also aims to engage and bring together industry and members of the public to help tackle plastic pollution. Using solar-powered technology, The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor™ river cleanup solution is a robot that extracts marine debris. The original Interceptor™ was unveiled in 2019 and is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers.
After years of planning, the Interceptor™ known as 003 or René, was launched into the Can Tho river for detailed testing last month. It is expected to become fully operational over the next few months, and is capable of extracting up to 50,000 kg of trash per day.
The river cleanup project deployment in Vietnam was made possible by the implementation support from the People’s Committee of Can Tho and the Can Tho Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE). Alongside the river cleanup, the partnership is also working with DoNRE and local operators to conduct river waste research to scale up the project where appropriate.
“We expect that this river cleanup project will make an important contribution to help the city improve the capacity and efficiency in waste collection, segregation and treatment; at the same time, prevent and thoroughly collect waste, especially plastic waste floating on some major river routes in the Can Tho city,” said Mr. Nguyễn Chí Kiên, Vice Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Can Tho city. “At the same time, this project will greatly contribute to Can Tho City’s goal towards an ecological and modern city, imbued with the identity of rivers and the Mekong Delta, visioning by 2030. To get there, we are looking forward to joining hands of non-profit organizations, private sectors and Can Tho citizens in such environmental protection projects, maintaining our position as an “ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City” – one of the most remarkable titles that was honorably given to Can Tho City.”
As part of the global implementation partnership, Coca-Cola in Vietnam will support the development of waste management solutions for collected debris and provide local support to The Ocean Cleanup such as engagement with local stakeholders.
“The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Cleanup. “I am happy to see progress and our first steps together with Coca-Cola on the road to tackling the complex plastic pollution problem in the vast Mekong Delta and its sensitive ecosystems. This is good news for the oceans.”
As part of its World Without Waste vision, The Coca-Cola Company is working to ensure that all of the material it uses in its packaging is collected and recycled, so that none of it ends up as waste. The Company has a global goal to help collect and recycle every bottle and can they sell by 2030.
In Vietnam, Coca-Cola is helping to support and drive locally relevant collection and recycling solutions. Coca-Cola Vietnam was one of the founding members of Packaging Recovery Organisation (PRO) Vietnam, a partnership with other leading companies, recyclers and government agencies to accelerate local packaging collection and recycling in support of a clean and green Vietnam.
“Right now, our packaging is among the waste that can be found in the ocean. This is unacceptable to us. We want to support partners and technologies that help to clean up our oceans and rivers, especially the Mekong river system – one of the critical river systems in ASEAN that flows to oceans. Through innovation and partnership, we’re also working to create circular solutions for the collection and recycling of our bottles in Vietnam. That’s why we’re very excited about this new partnership with The Ocean Cleanup in Vietnam, starting in our beautiful Can Tho river, and we’re looking forward to making a lasting impact through this work,” said Leonardo Garcia, General Manager, Coca-Cola Vietnam and Cambodia.
About The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal by taking a two-pronged approach: stemming the inflow via rivers and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup is developing large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked, traced through DNV’s chain of custody model to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To curb the tide via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 100. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit: theoceancleanup.com and follow @theoceancleanup on social media.
World Without Waste
The Coca-Cola Company is taking holistic actions to tackle the issue of plastic waste through its vision for a World Without Waste. There are three fundamental global goals: (1) make 100% of our packaging recyclable globally by 2025—and use at least 50% recycled material in packaging by 2030; (2) collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030; and (3) work together to support a healthy, debris-free environment. Going further and faster where possible, Coca-Cola is also investing in new technologies, packaging materials and package-less innovations, including new enhanced recycling, ultra-light-weighting technologies and plant-based technologies, as well as dispensed solutions.
Coca-Cola Vietnam progress towards a World Without Waste vision
In 2020, the Company launched the first ever 100% recycled plastic (rPET) bottle (excluding cap and label) in Vietnam for its Dasani 500ml. In 2021, Coca-Cola Vietnam switched Sprite from its iconic green bottle to a clear PET plastic bottle, to boost local recycling of Sprite bottles. Recently, the Company has rolled out “Recycle Me” message on its packaging labels across its portfolio to encourage consumers to help recycle. Coca-Cola is also partnering with other companies to establish Packaging Recycle Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam) with a goal of promoting a circular economic model through more accessible and sustainable packaging collection and recycling process in Vietnam.