Coca-Cola becomes first global partner for river clean-up project

The Coca-Cola Company and The Ocean Cleanup have announced that Coca-Cola will become a Global Implementation Partner for The Ocean Clean-up’s river project.

The partnership brings the international company and technological non-profit together in an effort to ‘stem the tide of plastic pollution entering the world’s oceans’, by first intercepting waste in rivers.

Partnering Coca-Cola’s scale and global network with The Ocean Cleanup’s technology and data solutions, the initiative sets out to help to expedite the deployment of clean-up systems across fifteen rivers around the world over the next 18 months, including the introduction and implementation of The Ocean Cleanup’s semi-autonomous solar-powered Interceptor river clean-up solutions.  

The Ocean Cleanup has a clear vision and proven technologies to support its goal to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

“The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Cleanup. “With 1,000 rivers emitting nearly 80% of river-carried plastic into oceans, this massive problem grows by the day, which is why we are always looking to accelerate our progress.

“Among the waste we collect with our cleanup systems, we find many plastic bottles, including Coca-Cola packaging, so I applaud them for being the first in the industry to join our mission, as part of their wider actions to make a positive impact on worldwide plastic pollution.

“Our clear intent is to take our learnings from this partnership, which has the potential to evolve in the future, and continue to scale rapidly. That’s why I believe this is good news for our oceans.” 

The Interceptor Solution

The Interceptor was unveiled in 2019 and is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers, according The Ocean Cleanup.

It is 100% solar-powered, extracts trash autonomously, and is capable of operating in the majority of the world’s most polluting rivers.

Through the partnership, The Ocean Cleanup together with Coca-Cola, will set out to tackle fifteen rivers by the end of 2022, with the two organisations working collaboratively towards their shared goal of eliminating waste.

Two Interceptors included in this partnership have already been installed by The Ocean Cleanup in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Can Tho, Vietnam.

For these rivers, the partnership will help provide support in the development of waste management solutions for collected waste and the organisations’ plan to extend the footprint of the project across thirteen additional rivers.

Brian Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, said: “The Ocean Cleanup has a clear vision and proven technologies to support its goal to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

“At Coca-Cola, we have teams on the ground who will support the deployment of new interceptors in rivers around the world, as well as the processing and recycling of the waste collected.

“Working together, we believe we can have real impact. That’s exciting: it’s something we know our employees in every corner of the world will get behind, by helping to support the local implementation work and as ambassadors for the wider mission.”  

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