Mumbai: Coca-Cola India and Reliance Retail, India’s largest retailer, have jointly unveiled a sustainability initiative titled “Bhool Na Jana, Plastic Bottle Lautana.” This initiative focuses on the collection of post-consumer PET bottles at Reliance Retail stores in Mumbai using Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) and collection bins. With a commitment to a circular economy and in alignment with the Swachh Bharat Mission, this pilot project has commenced in 36 Reliance Retail stores, including Smart Bazaar and Sahakari Bhandar stores in Mumbai and Delhi. The plan is to expand it to 200 stores nationwide by 2025, aiming to collect 5,00,000 PET bottles annually during the pilot phase.
The launch event, held at Reliance Retail’s Smart Bazaar store in Santa Cruz, was attended by Kazi Irfan, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for Solid Waste Management at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The initiative involves installing RVMs and collection bins, providing consumers with a convenient method to deposit used PET bottles. In return, they receive attractive discounts on Coca-Cola India products. The collected PET bottles will be recycled by Reliance Industries (RIL), a leading player in polyester and plastics recycling. This initiative encourages responsible waste management, contributing to the shift from a traditional linear economy.
Damodar Mall, CEO of Grocery Retail at Reliance Retail Limited, emphasized the significance of modern methods in promoting the habit of recycling. He mentioned the partnership with Coca-Cola India and Reliance Industries as a step toward encouraging responsible waste management across their extensive network of stores.
Greishma Singh, Vice President of Customer and Commercial Leadership at Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, expressed delight in creating awareness and providing shoppers with a convenient way to recycle PET bottles. She emphasized the power of partnerships with retail, government, civic societies, and consumer-centric ideas in driving progress on collection, recycling, and reuse.
Hemant D Sharma, President of Growth and Strategy for Polyester at Reliance Industries Limited, highlighted Reliance’s role as a sustainability trailblazer, recycling 2 billion PET bottles annually and aiming to scale it to 5 billion. He praised RIL’s commitment to a greener, circular future, spanning over two decades.
The initiative aligns with Coca-Cola’s global commitment to collect and recycle 100% of the packaging it produces, contributing to the World Without Waste strategy. It builds upon Coca-Cola India’s ‘Return and Recycle’ initiative with Zepto, involving 50,000 households and successful RVM installations across 75 cities, collecting 1 tonne of PET waste.