* The 'Return and Recycle' initiative collected over 100kgs of plastic waste in a 2-month pilot by gathering PET bottles from customers at the back of Zepto’s robust last-mile network
Coca-Cola India and Zepto announced the expansion of their successful, first-of-its-kind collaboration in India to reinforce their commitment towards plastic circularity. The 'Return and Recycle' initiative was launched in November 2022 as a pilot project in select locations of Mumbai. The unique initiative established an organized process of collecting PET bottles with 100% traceability, to ensure effective plastic waste management. It received an overwhelming response from consumers with over 100kgs of PET bottles collected and recycled as a part of the 60-day pilot.
Zepto and Coca Cola's collaboration is driving the digitization of their collection strategy by leveraging e-commerce platforms. This move towards digitization not only makes the process more efficient, but also raises consumer awareness about sustainable collection models, making them a key stakeholder in the journey towards sustainability.
The initiative will now be scaled with collection bins deployed across hundreds of Zepto delivery hubs in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata.
Commenting on the expansion of the initiative, Abhishek Gupta, Chief Customer Officer Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, said, “The success of Coca-Cola’s partnership with Zepto has been characterized by strong synergies in sustainability and social responsibility. We are delighted to extend the partnership to other cities, continuing our efforts towards plastic circularity. With the ‘return and recycle’ initiative across India, we are furthering the company's global goal of creating a world without waste.”
Coca-Cola India’s partnership with Zepto intends to create a circular economy for plastic by connecting all participants in the PET recycling value chain. Leveraging the Zepto two-wheeler distribution network, the “self-sustainable initiative” seeks to ‘collect’ empty PET bottles of any brand from consumers, which then goes to the recycler as a raw material The initiative also demonstrates Coca-Cola's commitment towards the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission which promotes recycling as one of its core principles. It further aims to encourage its consumers to recycle PET by raising awareness on the importance of recycling and its positive impact on the environment.
Vinay Dhanani, Chief Operations Officer at Zepto, said, "This collaboration has been an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the potential of new-age e-commerce beyond business. We are proud to have built an agile and efficient last-mile network that seamlessly extends itself to innovative initiatives like this. Our aim is to constantly innovate and embed sustainable practices in all areas of operations at Zepto. Be it route optimization, EV or bicycle-led deliveries, sustainable packaging, or reducing waste, we are committed to reducing our footprint and sharing our vision with brands and the Government of India.”
Coca-Cola India and Zepto’s ‘Return and Recycle’ initiative aims to promote and build lasting sustainable behaviour and reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste through shared purpose. This programme further serves as a testimony of how joint brand collaborations can help in creating a culture of sustainability and responsible consumption.
About Coca-Cola India
Coca-Cola in India is one of the country's leading beverage companies, offering a range of high-quality and refreshing beverage options to consumers. The Company in line with its vision of 'Beverages For Life' offers a wide portfolio of products which includes hydration, sports, sparkling, coffee, tea, nutrition, juice, and dairy based products. In India it's beverage range includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Charged by Thums Up, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Maaza, and Minute Maid range of juices. The Company also offers hydration beverages, including Limca Sports, Smartwater, Kinley, Dasani and Bonaqua packaged drinking water and Kinley Club Soda. Premium products constitute Schweppes and Smartwater. In addition, it offers a Costa Coffee range of tea and coffee. The Company is constantly transforming its portfolio, from reducing sugar in its drinks to bringing innovative new products to market.
The Company along with its owned bottling operations and franchise bottling partners has a strong network of close to 4 million retail outlets through which it refreshes millions of consumers across the country. It seeks to positively impact people's lives, communities and the planet through water replenishment, packaging recycling, sustainable agriculture initiatives and carbon emission reductions across its value chain.
Globally together with its bottling partners, The Coca-Cola Company employs more than 700,000 people, helping to bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.cocacolacompany.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Founded in 2021 by Stanford University dropouts, Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, Zepto is India’s fastest growing e-grocery company valued at $900 Million following its recent Series-D fundraise of $200M from marquee global investors including Y Combinator Continuity, Kaiser Permanente, Nexus Venture Partners, Glade Brook Capital, and Lachy Groom. Headquartered in Mumbai, Zepto is present across 10 major cities in the country, is 1000+ employees strong, and delivering over 5,000 products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, daily cooking essentials, dairy, health-and-hygiene products, etc., to Indian homes within 10 minutes. Through its strong tech capabilities, an efficient business model, and a network of highly optimised delivery centres across its 10 locations, the company is revolutionising the Indian grocery segment currently pegged at $600 Billion, making it easier and convenient. Beyond grocery, Zepto has also introduced a cafe offering that allows customers to order Coffee, Chai, and other Café items, along with their groceries.
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