Coca-Cola uses packaging as 'billboard' to push 'Recycle Me' messaging in ASEAN

Coca-Cola is using its packaging to deliver a recycling message by rolling out a "Recycle Me" message on its package labels across all brands and products in ASEAN. "Our packaging is our biggest, most visible billboard," Matthias Blume, group marketing director frontline, at Coca-Cola ASEAN and South Pacific said. He added that this will be the company's largest-ever move in the region to use its packaging to deliver a prominent recycling message and encourage action.

The "Recycle Me" message has since been rolled out in ASEAN and the transition is expected to be completed across the majority of the company's packaging by the end of the year. At the same time, Coca-Cola will increasingly be including recycling messages in its marketing campaigns and social media channels to encourage consumers to recycle more. Coca-Cola declined to comment on the monetary value of this initiative and its marketing initiatives related to recycling. 

The "Recycle Me" initiative is also the latest step from Coca-Cola as part of a holistic approach by the company across Southeast Asia to tackle packaging waste. The company has launched bottles made from 100% recycled plastic in Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and has switched its iconic green Sprite packaging to clear plastic across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is also partnering with other companies to form Packaging Recovery Organisations in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam to accelerate packaging collection and recycling in a sustainable way in reach country.

In the Philippines, for example, Coca-Cola is preparing to launch a PET plastic recycling facility in partnership with Thailand-based Indorama Ventures. The bottle-to-bottle recycling plant is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of next year. "We want to use the power of our brands to encourage more people to recycle our bottles after they have enjoyed the drink, and help the packages have another life," Blume explained.

Aside from forming organisations, Coca-Cola has also partnered with the Singapore Paddle Club and the Singapore Environment Council to remove waste from Lazarus Island and raise awareness about recycling, respectively. Its partnership with Benioff Ocean Initiative and TerraCycle Thai Foundation also seeks to remove waste from rivers.

Coca-Cola's efforts are in line with its vision to create a world without waste and it is working to achieve its zero-waste goal by 2030. The company pledged World Without Waste goals in 2018 to help collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one it sells globally by 2030. It also pledged to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and to use at least 50% recycled materials in its packaging by 2030.

Separately, the company recently made its move into the NFT scene, developer Tafi, creator of custom 3D content for avatar and emoji systems, for four collectible NFTs. The "Friendship Box" was inspired by video-game loot boxes, playing on the popular video game feature involving sealed mystery “boxes”. Vice Media's creative agency VIRTUE conceptualised the box. The four pieces are namely the Friendship Box itself, which takes the form of a 1956 vintage vending machine, a custom Coca-Cola bubble jacket wearable which is a subtle nod to Coke's delivery uniforms, the reimagined 1940 friendship trading cards, as well as a sound visualiser which captures the sound of opening a coca-cola.

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