Coca-Cola Vietnam and The Ocean Cleanup officially announced that the Can Tho river has been selected as one of the 15 locations around the globe to be cleaned up by an advanced technology stemming the tide of plastic pollution invading the oceans.
The Interceptor™, groundbreaking invention extracting up to 50,000kg trash daily
Using solar-powered technology, The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor™ river cleanup solution is a robot that removes marine debris. In 2021, the Coca-Cola Company became a global implementation partner with Interceptor™, which was originally unveiled in 2019 as the first company to provide a scalable innovation preventing waste from entering the oceans. Additionally, this partnership also aims to create a community having more concerns about environmental issues.
After years of planning, the testing version of the Interceptor™, known as 003 or René, was launched into the Can Tho river last month. It is expected to become fully operational over the next few months, promising to be capable of extracting up to 50,000 kilograms of trash daily.
The river cleanup project deployment in Vietnam was made possible by the support from the People’s Committee of Can Tho and the Can Tho Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE). Alongside with cleaning up rivers, the partnership has also worked with DoNRE and local operators to conduct river waste research to scale up the project.
“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 Can Tho City,” said Mr. Nguyen Chi Kien, 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, the private sector 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.”
Collecting and Recycling all Coca-Cola’s bottles and cans – ambitious by 2030
Furthermore, Coca-Cola in Vietnam will advocate the development of waste management for collected debris and provide local support to The Ocean Cleanup such as strong communication 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.”
In Vietnam, Coca-Cola has helped support and drive locally relevant collection and recycling solutions. Coca-Cola Vietnam was one of the founding members of Packaging Recycling Organization (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.
As part of its World Without Waste vision, The Coca-Cola Company is making an attempt to ensure that all of the material used in its packaging is collected and recycled. Moreover, The Coca-Cola Company’s global goal is to help collect and recycle every bottle and can that has been sold by us by 2030. Hence, we are working on reducing our use of virgin packaging materials and using only 100% recyclable packaging materials. Ultimately, we want to bring people together to support a healthy, debris-free environment and ensure none of our packaging ends up where it doesn’t belong.