Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa announced it’s rolling out returnable 2-litre plastic bottles to more parts of the country after a successful pilot in the Eastern Cape last year.

For each bottle a consumer returns, they get R9 back.

Returnable bottles will now also be available in Northern Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. CCBSA says that more provinces will be added over a five-year period.

Each returnable bottle has the word ‘RETURNABLE’ printed on a small green strip on the front side of the bottle label. For each bottle you return, you get a R9 deposit, meaning if it costs R20, you’ll ultimately only pay R11.

The company piloted the project in the Eastern Cape in January, as part of its “world without waste” initiative.

“The consumer response to the new 2-litre returnable PET bottles has been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen customers in the Eastern Cape opting to switch over to purchasing the returnable bottles and returning them after consumption,” said CCBSA MD Velaphi Ratshefola.

What will happen once the bottle is returned?

Once a bottle is returned to CCBSA, it goes on a looped journey to be cleaned as per Coca-Cola’s stringent measures and requirements, then is refilled to start its next lifecycle. When the bottle reaches the end of its useable lifecycle, it joins the recycling value chain and is repurposed into another PET (polyethylene terephthalate) product.

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