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Coca-Cola’s Waste Segregation CSR Drive


A company’s CSR initiatives should ideally target long-standing issues and deliver long-term solutions. Coca-Cola is dedicated ot the cause of Waste Segregation as part of its CSR initiatives.

India is the first country in the world to make CSR mandatory, following an amendment to The Company Act, 2013 in April 2014. The bill has been highly controversial in India, with critics calling it a “tax” and pointing out the government’s failure to regulate business, root out corruption or even to collect income taxes that could fund social programmes.

Gurgaon is the hub of some of the biggest corporate giants in the world. Most of the Fortune 500 companies run their offices and operations in this millennium city. The city has become an iconic symbol of professionalism, career options, growth opportunities, business development and much more. While companies are rising up on their profit graphs, many are equally focused in spending a part of those profits on social welfare and relevant causes.

Coca-Cola on Waste Segregation Drive

In January 2018, The Coca-Cola Company announced its global vision of ‘World Without Waste’. Under this, the Company aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can that it sells worldwide by 2030.

In line with the company’s strategic focus on recycling & demonstrating leading models on waste management, mainly PET, a three-year project called ‘Alag Karo: Har Din Teen Bin’ has been implemented in Gurgaon by Saahas (a non-profit organisation in the development sector focused on solid waste management) in partnership with Coca-Cola India, GIZ and Tetra Pak. Launched on 6th September 2017, the project aims to promote waste segregation at source and seeks to sensitise people on active waste segregation and disposal practices. It also handholds waste pickers, trains them on handling waste and equips them with the right resources to handle it better. This helps in improving recycling rates by reducing dumping and landfill.

The initiative ‘Alag Karo’ works with households in RWAs, commercial establishments, schools and waste pickers in Gurgaon to spread awareness about the three-way source segregation for dry waste, wet waste and hazardous waste.

Bringing About Behavioural Change

The participation of the urban community in waste management is critically dependent on its attitude towards this issue. “Alag Karo programme, through its various public campaigns, has been able to bring about this change and raise public participation. It has also been able to instil a sense of ownership among the citizens about their city. They were sensitised to the plight of the waste workers who had to scavenge through their mixed waste.

The residents are taking responsibility of their waste by way of source segregation,’’ shares the CSR team of the company.
During the programme, it was experienced that door-to-door collection of waste was critical in hitting 90 per cent plus levels of source segregation as the collector was able to pinpoint the defaulters and give feedback to the specific residents. “RWA and the volunteers must work in tandem to ensure successful implementation of the programme. Additionally, the leadership of RWA is critical for programme sustenance.

By now, the programme has achieved several milestones wherein we have sensitised 24,000 households across 50 Resident Welfare Associations in Gurgaon till 2018 end, reached 1,00,000+ people through public campaigns since its launch in 2017 and trained 500+ waste pickers on waste segregation. Through this initiative, more than 20 tons of waste is being segregated every day in the city,” shares the team.

This article was first published in the print version of SUBURB August 2019 issue.

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